Friday, October 23, 2015

Argentina to Support Jamaica's move for Inscription of Reggae to UNESCO's Culture List

The Jamaican Ministry of Youth and Culture is embracing the collective experiences of its Latin American counterpart, Argentina which successfully inscribed its element Tango to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity in 2009 as a joint nomination with its neighbour Uraguay.

The Argentinean Mission to Jamaica, led by His Excellency Ariel Fernandez, Ambassador of the Republic of Argentina to Jamaica has pledged their technical support to Jamaica to guide the detailed process towards formally safeguarding Reggae as an element that demonstrates the diversity and overwhelming impact of Jamaica's heritage.

The move comes only four months after securing Jamaica's first ever historic listing to UNESCO's prestigious World Heritage List, with the Blue and John Crow Mountains, the Government of Jamaica is set to begin the process of safeguarding the island's Reggae music.

According to the Minister of Youth and Culture, the Honourable Lisa Hanna, the Argentinean Mission to Jamaica, led by His Excellency Ariel Fernandez, Ambassador of the Republic of Argentina to Jamaica has pledged their technical support to guide the detailed process towards formally safeguarding Reggae as an element that demonstrates the diversity and overwhelming impact of Jamaica's heritage, as well as raise awareness about its importance as an ICH on the global stage.

"Jamaica, through the existing Bi-Lateral Cultural Agreements with Argentina, will be leveraging the expertise of their cultural technocrats to guide Jamaica in submitting a successful nomination. While we have a powerful global element in reggae, we cannot take for granted that this process towards safeguarding Reggae for present and future generations is a done deal. International designations such as the ICH Listing requires of countries to clearly demonstrate how their intangible cultural heritage is distinctive and should be acknowledged and protected on an international platform," Minister Hanna added.

In a meeting, Ambassador Fernandez expressed satisfaction to be able to help Jamaican to guide its nomination, "we have joined forces in order to present to the world that we strongly believe in this cultural human expression of life." He further explained that impact of Reggae has transcended borders and continues its impact with the assistant of globalization and Jamaicans within the Diaspora. He also noted that inscription to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage List will aid in keeping the form alive. Ambassador Fernandez pointed out that just before their submission of Tango, the intangible heritage was very close to being lost as a representation of the country's cultural identity. 

Intangible cultural heritage is defined to include oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts. As noted by UNESCO the importance of intangible cultural heritage is not the cultural manifestation itself but rather the wealth of knowledge and skills that is transmitted through it from one generation to the next. The social and economic value of this transmission of knowledge is relevant for minority groups and for mainstream social groups within a State, and is as important for developing States as for developed ones.

Some benefits of an inscription to the ICH List include; the opening of avenues for funding to support further safeguarding initiatives, sustainable development component for the traditional culture bearers and most importantly the recognition by a State party of the importance of its own cultural heritage with the necessary steps taken steps to preserve it.....click to read full article

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