What are inventories of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and why are they essential to safeguarding efforts? How to draw up these inventories with the widest participation of communities, considering the specific context of each country? These were the main issues raised at the workshop on upgrading competencies on community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage, held from March 23 to 25 in Paris in the framework of the MEDLIHER project with the teams of the three beneficiary countries (Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan).
The meeting enabled participants to gain a thorough understanding of the training materials developed by UNESCO on the theme of community-based inventorying. It was also an opportunity for them to discuss the adaptation of these tools according to the particularities of each country and the focus of their national safeguarding projects. Egypt chose inventorying the intangible cultural heritage of Damietta, which forms part of the river Nile regions; Jordan chose the region of Madaba, which is characterized by great cultural diversity. Lebanon decided to focus on inventorying the specific element of the Zajal, which is a cultural practice to be found all over the country. Planned to be launched in April 2012, these national projects will start with capacity-building workshops, followed by fieldwork.
In addition to significant advances in the planning of the national projects, participants have developed during this workshop a shared vision of the regional MEDLIHER movie, which will increase the visibility of the ICH of partner countries in the Mediterranean world and internationally.