Problematizing Technologies for Documenting Intangible Culture: Some Positive and Negative Consequences

  • Laura R. Graham
The 2003 UNESCO Convention to “safeguard intangible cultural heritage” raises a number of interesting political questions:
  • Who decides what cultural forms are to be recorded, documented, and safeguarded?1

  • What is the purpose(s) of heritage documentation, in specific instances?

  • In practice, whose interests does this safeguarding primarily serve?

  • Who is doing the safeguarding and what are the relationships, particularly relationships of power and authority, between various parties involved in safeguarding practices, including institutions such as museums, universities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as their representatives in interactions with various local-level community organizations, institutions and their individual members?

  • Who are the audiences of heritage documentation and how are safeguarding practices and presentations of safeguarded materials accountable to the needs and interests of distinct audiences?

  • What practices are appropriate, and not appropriate, to...


Indigenous People Tape Recorder Horizontal Transmission Broad Audience Expressive Form 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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