ICH Pilot Project Meeting

Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 25 2021 (ZIZ News)  The information received as part of the Department of Culture’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Pilot Research Study, will be discussed at a meeting later this week.

According to Lead Focal Point for Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) for UNESCO Marlene Phillips, intangible cultural heritage is the method of doing something. The categories include performing arts, traditional herbs (medicine), and storytelling.

She said Intangible Cultural Heritage is of great significance as it shapes the society.

“The intangible part of our lives is our identity, if you think about your own family and how you were raised and the food your parents prepared for you, these are things that bring back memories and they are part of your tradition and hopefully you will pass them on to your children,” she said. “It is very important and the ICH secretariat, is going to be working on things to safeguard these intangible elements and that’s why we did the training, because we need the people in the community, to safeguard; it’s not us at the department of agriculture. The only reason the art forms are around is because there are people in the community that love performing; love making the mauby; making the cassava bread; dancing masquerade.”

The ICH Pilot project was made up of 7 research teams, each consisting of a coordinator, interviewer/ researcher and a media person.

Miss Phillips gave the specifics of the project.

“We did a pilot study to conduct some research in St. Kitts and Nevis to see what elements we could discover in a short period of time and those were some of them,” she noted.

“As part of the project we had to train people from the community on how to do the interviews, putting together the questions, operating a video camera or an audio recorder, researching who they are going to talk to and about what, taking digital photographs of the person they are interviewing and the element itself and so we have trained these people in ST. Kitts and in Nevis, they have done the research.”

The meeting of the participants for the Intangible Cultural Heritage Pilot project will take place on Wednesday at Warner Park.

Ms. Phillips said the meeting will serve to gain feedback on what can be done to improve the process.

“The meeting we are having tomorrow is sort of a continuation of ICH. We are going to get feedback on what the actual experience was like because some of them held a camera for the first time and we want to improve the process.”
She said,” The reason why we are doing this is because we actually already have established an ICH Secretariat in St. Kitts Department of Culture so these who we’ve trained with this skillset, we are going to continue working with them in the future, to go out into the community and to research more ICH elements that we want to safeguard.”

She said the meeting will serve as a fact finding mission to outline solutions to enhance the project, and to find out where more training is necessary. The future of the secretariat as well as ideas for a public seminar next month will also be discussed.

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