Several masterpieces by the 16th century painter, Pieter Bruegel from the Low Countries, can function as eyeopeners to understand how 'popular culture' is mediated or how successful multi-media inventories can be for cultural repertoires. These paintings were also used in Peter Burke's Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe. In order to fully understand the recent developments before and since the 2003 UNESCO Convention, it is necessary to situate these in a long term perspective, and Burke's book remains a relevant classic. This exercise helps us to recognise a number of implicit or invisible criteria for the lists of the Convention - like the 'no-electricity' rule. For the UNESCO lists, both popular and court/elite forms of culture from outside Europe seem to qualify, but for Europe, only expressions of popular culture are listed; the 'elite culture' tacitly falls outside the scope, up to now. Waiting for a wikipedia-like formula with peer review to facilitate a really representative list, the New Delhi consensus expressed in the first paragraphs of the operational directives holds up to now: easy criteria, but a hair-splitting treatment of the forms and bottle necks and dams in the pipelines of processing the files, in order to slow down the inflation effect that would follow mass inscription. The constructivist nature of the definition of intangible cultural heritage in Article 2 of the 2003 Convention, and the possibility of using the lists - and registration system - to create eye-openers and precedents allows for innovation and change.
|Translated title of the contribution||Bruegel and Burke were here! Examining the criteria implicit in the UNESCO paradigm of safeguarding ICH: the first decade|
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||International Journal of Intangible Heritage|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
- intangible cultural heritage
- implicit criteria