IRCI held a Workshop Targeting Central Asia for Collecting Research Information Related to ICH and its Safeguarding (10 August 2022, Online)

IRCI held an online workshop inviting cooperating institutions in Central Asia under the project “Sustainable Research Data Collection for ICH Safeguarding: Focusing on Central Asia and Small Island Developing States” on 10 August 2022.

Since FY 2014, IRCI has been collecting research information related to intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and its safeguarding in cooperation with research institutions and NGOs in various countries, and making the collected information accessible through its website (IRCI Research Database), with the aim of promoting research that contributes to ICH safeguarding. From this fiscal year, the project has been implemented in Central Asia and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

In this online workshop, IRCI discussed how to proceed with data collection in Central/Inner Asia with participants from cooperating institutions in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and solicited their input by referring to the draft guidelines for collecting research information. In addition, representatives of cooperating institutions in each country reported on the current situation and challenges of safeguarding ICH in their countries. This became an opportunity for sharing information among the participating countries. The International Institute for Central Asian Studies (IICAS), an intergovernmental organization, also joined the workshop to provide comments from a regional, Central Asian perspective.

The general discussion dealt with the issues of differences between the concept of ICH as defined in the UNESCO Convention and how ICH is conceptualized in each country, as well as how such differences may affect research. To respond to these issues, participants explained their view of ICH, citing the ICH-related laws of each country as an example.

After this workshop, data collection activity will be commenced by collaborators in each country, in cooperation with other organizations within the county.

The research information collected in this project will be added to the IRCI Research Database, and become available to the public by the end of March 2023.