Video testimonials of inspiring practices in ICH and museums


Carillon culture (BE)

In 2014, carillon culture was recognized as a best practice in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. The carillon is the biggest musical instrument in the world. Luc Rombouts is the titular of the carillons of Tienen and Abdij van Park (Leuven, BE), and the two carillons of the University of Leuven. He is interested in the history of the carillon and its role as intangible cultural heritage, and together with Twan Bearda forms the carillon duo The Bells’ Angels.

Henna practice (NL)

Henna is a type of body art originating and traditionally practised in the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian peninsula. It is often linked to ritual contexts, and is characterized by regional variation in styles and techniques. Fatima Oulad Thami is a heritage artist based in the Netherlands with wide-ranging knowledge and skills of henna practice both as an art and a craft.

Traditional handweaving (IT)

The Casa Lussu Association, founded by Barbara and Tommaso Lussu, is based in Armungia (Sardinia, IT), and advocates for the safeguarding of traditional handweaving methods on horizontal heirlooms. Aside from practising handweaving, this includes study and research, and organising workshops, seminars, and training courses. Many of these activities take place in collaboration with the Armungia Municipality Ethnographic Museum. Their work illustrates the potential of intangible heritage to contribute to the revival of small, more isolated rural or mountainous villages.

Avalanche knowledge and management (CH)

Avalanche management constitutes an important part of daily life for many inhabitants of Alpine environments, especially those involved in mountainous activities and sports. Knowledge of avalanches is often passed around within local communities and groups. Patrice Schlatter, located in Switzerland, is closely involved in avalanche management, including via digital media, and incorporates different material objects as part of this heritage practice.

Maritime musical heritage (FR)

The Phare Ouest Association in Cancale, France, was co-founded by Paul Terral, and wants to preserve the heritage of maritime songs in the region of Bretagne. This tradition is linked to the historical custom where captains would take singers on board their ships to ensure more coordinated, better manoeuvring. The Phare Ouest Association works closely together with the Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires in Cancale, where objects related to seafaring and its musical heritage are displayed. In the museum, visitors are invited to take an active part in this tradition.

Museum Hof van Busleyden, Mechelen (BE)

Museum Hof van Busleyden was opened in 2018 as the new city museum of Mechelen, Belgium, after a long and comprehensive thought process about the role of the museum in achieving inclusiveness and participation. The museum regards both the evolution of the collection and its policies as the outcomes of an ongoing dialogue with the city’s diverse inhabitants. It often highlights local heritage practices such as bobbin lace making in collaboration with local heritage practitioners and communities, and plays a key role in the safeguarding of ICH.

Fédération des Ecomusées et des Musées de Société (FR)

The Fédération des Ecomusées et Musées de Societé (FEMS) unites innovative non-profit heritage institutions across France that focus on social topics, the solidarity economy, and local development. The network specifically federates museums that place humans and their territory at the centre of their activities, with subjects such as the evolution of rural communities, urban cultures, and sustainable development.

Zeeuws Museum, Middelburg (NL)

The Zeeuws Museum in Middelburg, the Netherlands, is a cultural historical museum focusing on local crafts and heritage, both tangible and intangible. The museum works with local communities to preserve traditional knowledge, to transfer this knowledge to a young(er) generation, and to inspire the development of new products based on these local traditional skills. The HANDWERK project, for example, centers around historical fashion traditions in Zeeland, and contributes to safeguarding these practices by, among others, passing on traditional techniques to vocational education students.

Ecomuseo Casilino ad Duas Lauros, Rome (IT)

The Ecomuseo Casilino ad Duas Lauros in Italy identifies expressions of ICH in different domains (languages, social practices, rituals, performative arts, etc.) inside a multi-ethnic context. The Co.Heritage project is aimed at identifying the transnational intangible cultural heritage of the eastern suburbs of Rome, e.g. traditional dances from inhabitants with Italian, Bangladeshi, Peruvian and Romanian roots, as a means to strengthen a dialogue between Italian and migrant communities. The project supported the bearers of the heritage by sharing good practices of safeguarding and by encouraging the dialogue about the heritage of the suburbs concerned.

Museo di Leventina, Giornico (CH)

The Museo di Leventina, located in Giornico, Switzerland, acts at multiple levels to enhance local intangible cultural heritage. Primarily it takes a social-anthropological approach, aiming to investigate and promote contemporary and past social phenomena that are part of intangible cultural heritage. This approach can be found both in the exhibition concepts and in the choice of objects, documents and testimonies that enrich the museum’s collection. The main themes in the permanent exhibition are identity and rituality, and the museum often enables the participation of local communities.

Videography: (c) Pien van Grinsven