A Critical Reading on the Convention for the Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage

Gurcayir S.

MILLI FOLKLOR, no.92, pp.5-12, 2011 (Journal Indexed in AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 92
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Title of Journal : MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Page Numbers: pp.5-12


The Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted by UNESCO in 2003 with the thought that intangible cultural heritage disappears step by step because of globalization and industrialization. Turkey by ratifying the Convention in 2006 has closely followed the implementation process of the Convention. State Parties have prepared national inventories, established the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and some State Parties created Living Human Treasures Programme. However, important steps have been taken toward implementing the Convention, some problems still arise in the implementation process. In Turkey, firstly the propriety of "intangible cultural heritage" term has been questioned and then nationalist concerns about the aims of the Convention have been reflected. These discussions and concerns have prevented to develop a deep point of view on the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. One of the prior interests of this article is realization for safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and its transmission to the next generation. It has been assumed that problems encountered in the actualization of the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage is closely related to the perception of tradition concept. The Representative List and Urgent Safeguarding List have been criticized by intangible cultural heritage specialists from different points of views. In this article, critics on the Convention text and implementation of the Convention have been analyzed.