International conference: Intangible Cultural Heritage, Museums and Urbanised Society

Event information

International conference: Intangible Cultural Heritage, Museums and Urbanised Society

This International conference on Intangible Cultural Heritage, Museums and Urbanised Society, highlights the influence of urbanity on practices of intangible heritage performed or lived in urban as well as in rural areas. In what ways do rituals, traditions, techniques, et cetera get impacted by their urbanised surroundings and the ever-changing constellations of people who enjoy, perform, enact and transmit these cultural practices? And how can museums be, or become, a partner in the safeguarding efforts of the communities, groups or individuals involved?

During her keynote, Léontine Meijer-van Mensch (Jewish Museum Berlin) will discuss the position of the heritage professional and the non-authoritive approach museums need to adopt when working with practitioners of intangible heritage, taking the Jewish Museum – located in one of the most diverse neighbourhoods of the German capital – as a case study. A second keynote will be presented by Sandro Cattacin (University of Geneva), focussing on transformation of (intangible) heritage in the urbanised context, brought about by migration and by mobility in general.

Eight museum professionals, coming from museums in Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland and The Netherlands will present their initiatives on intangible cultural heritage in urbanised society. These presentations, rooted in different European contexts and museum practices, will provide participants inspiration, and will zoom in on the challenges and barriers that had to be overcome while putting into practice the UNESCO ICH-paradigm in museums.

Furthermore, a panel of Swiss practitioners of intangible heritage will testify about their ideas or experiences on working with museums in the process of safeguarding their heritage. Representatives that practice urban gardening, do Parkour, celebrate the fête des vignerons in Vevey and that have the knowledge of dealing with avalanche risk management, will attend. What do they think about cooperating with museums, or - when they already collaborated - what was their motivation? What wants and needs do they express to the museum, and does cooperation eventually match their expectations? Does collaboration strengthen all parties involved, and in what ways?

Participants to the International conference will be the first to get the opportunity to learn about the co-creation between Stadtmuseum Aarau and game communities, that took place in the context of one of the museum’s projects.

You can find the preliminary program here.

How to subscribe?


Entrance fee:

  • For members of the Swiss Museums Association: CHF 90
  • For non-members of the Swiss Museums Association: CHF 110

Coffee breaks, lunch and diner are included.

The number of participants is limited. The conference language will be English.



25 September 2018 from 06:30 to 18:00
Check out the program


Swiss Alpine Museum (Switzerland)


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International conference: Intangible Cultural Heritage, Museums and Urbanised Society

PDF of program

8h30 Registration


By Isabelle Chassot (Swiss Federal Office of Culture) & Andrea Kauer Loens (Swiss Museums Association)  


Welcome to the ALPS

By Barbara Keller (Swiss Alpine Museum)


Introduction: The 'Intangible Cultural Heritage and Museums Project'

by Jorijn Neyrinck


Introduction: Intangible cultural heritage in Switzerland | abstract

by David Vitali (Swiss Federal Office of Culture)



Memory, rituals and mobility. Intangible cultural heritage in the urban context | abstract
by Sandro Cattacin (University of Geneva)

Museums, communities and their practices: safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in our urbanised worlds abstract

by Léontine Meijer-van Mensch (Jewish Museum Berlin)

11h20 Coffee break 

The practitioner's voice: interview with four Swiss practitioners of intangible cultural heritage on collaborating with museums

Panel: Sabine Carruzzo (Fête des Vignerons), Arvo Losinger (Parkour), Patrice Schlatter (avalanche risk management) and Lorenz De Vallier (urban gardening)

13h10 Lunch break

Inspiring museum cases on intangible cultural heritage 

  • Els Veraverbeke | Huis van Alijn (BE) - Ghent Festivities
  • Annemarie de Wildt | Amsterdam Museum (NL) - Football Hallelujah!
  • Jet Bakels | Teylers Museum (NL) - Monster animals. True or false
  • Bruno Meier (CH) - Simply Zürich
15h25 Coffee break 

Inspiring museum cases on intangible cultural heritage 

  • Jozefien De Bock | STAM (BE) - Sticking Around. Over 50 years of migration to Ghent
  • Stefano Mengarelli | museum schaffen (CH) - Zeit. Zeugen. Arbeit
  • Katia Kukawka | Musée D’Acquitanie (FR) - Vous me voyez?
  • Mélanie Rouiller (CH) - Traditions Vivantes en Images / #tradifri
17h25 Presentation of the co-creation between Stadtmuseum Aarau and game communities
18h00 End
19h Diner at Heitere Fahne

Subscribe to the event

Starting from mid June 2018, you can subscribe via this link.