du 21 novembre 2023 au 23 avril 2024
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Publié le 10 novembre 2023 Mis à jour le 3 mai 2024

Webinar series 2023-2024 “Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development”

Logos Chaire Unesco Webinaire
Logos Chaire Unesco Webinaire

Webinar series 2023-2024 “Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development”, organized by the UNESCO Chair on Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development, CY Cergy Paris Université, CY Advanced Studies - CY Initiative of Excellence, UMR Héritages : Culture/s, Patrimoine/s, Création/s, by videoconference

Webinar series

“Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development”

Organized by the UNESCO Chair on
Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development

CY Cergy Paris Université
CY Advanced Studies - CY Initiative of Excellence
UMR Héritages : Culture/s, Patrimoine/s, Création/s


By videoconference
Meeting ID: 948 0422 4217

To subscribe to the Chair's mailing list, write to: chaire-unesco-pcidd[at]cyu.fr

See the Chair's presentation page

As a reservoir of experiences, developed across different cultures, Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) offers inspiring examples of alternative ways of understanding the relationship to nature and the environment, of healing and taking care of each other, of strengthening social bonds and sustaining livelihoods. In this sense, ICH can be an agent for change and a resource for imagining alternative ways of living on an endangered planet, what is conventionally referred to as “sustainable development”.

The webinar series “Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development” brings together the UNESCO Chairs on Intangible Cultural Heritage to tackle the concept of “sustainable development” from the particular perspectives and field of expertise of each Chair (i.e. cultural diversity, education, comparative law, policy and law, applied studies, critical heritage studies etc.). Discussants from a variety of disciplines will join the sessions with the aim of decompartmentalizing the debate following each presentation.


En tant que réservoir d'expériences qui ont évolué à travers les cultures, le patrimoine culturel immatériel (PCI) offre des exemples inspirants d'autres façons de comprendre la relation à la nature et à l'environnement, de guérir et de prendre soin les uns des autres, de renforcer les liens sociaux et de maintenir les moyens de subsistance. En ce sens, le PCI peut être un vecteur de changement et une ressource pour imaginer d'autres façons de vivre sur une planète en danger, ce que l'on appelle communément le "développement durable".

La série de webinaires sur le patrimoine culturel immatériel et le développement durable réunit les chaires UNESCO sur le patrimoine culturel immatériel, afin d'aborder le concept de "développement durable" à partir des perspectives et des domaines d'expertise particuliers de chaque chaire (comme la diversité culturelle, l'éducation, le droit comparé, la politique et le droit, les études appliquées, les études critiques sur le patrimoine, etc.). Les sessions incluront des discutants issus de diverses disciplines, afin d'ouvrir le débat après chaque présentation.

For CY Cergy Paris Université PhD students, please register for all webinar sessions starting with the January session, by going to the page : https://adum.fr/script/formations.pl?mod=3567886&site=CYcergy
Participation in all four sessions will earn you two credits, as part of your thesis.

Pour les doctorants de CY Cergy Paris Université, veuillez vous inscrire à toutes les séances du webinaire à partir de celle de janvier, en allant sur la page : https://adum.fr/script/formations.pl?mod=3567886&site=CYcergy.
La participation aux quatre sessions vous permettra d'obtenir deux crédits, dans le cadre de votre thèse.


  • 21/11/2023 14.00-16.00 CET
Session co-organised with the LIVIND project.
LIVIND aims at increasing understanding about the interlinkages between living heritage and sustainable development. With series of webinars and workshops the project offers various viewpoints to sustainability in safeguarding living heritage.

Webinar recording

John Crowley
Re-evaluating the goals: “whose sustainability goals” are we working for? SDGs, the missing pillar and beyond?

Chiara Bortolotto & Séverine Cachat
SDGs, periodic reporting and the agency of indicators

Global frameworks such as the SDGs or the audit mechanisms established within the ICH Convention build on indicators. Assumed to be neutral, technical and universal, these frameworks are in fact performative, political and cultural. It is through them that SD is to be imagined, managed, deployed and performed globally. They shape the global conception and management of sustainable development, potentially obscuring its essence. Energies and resources that could be creatively devoted to safeguarding taking into account a diversity of understanding of sustainability are instead diverted in the implementation of these normative framework. At the same time, however, they offer opportunities to shift State policies’ focus from a quest for international visibility and prestige granted by listing to more concrete issues. The Livind project is an example of this. Our discussion draws from experiences supporting state and sub-state stakeholders in designing and executing ICH strategies, reporting, and projects.

  • Jorijn Neyrinck, Intangible heritage workshop
  • Katriina Siivonen, Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC), University of Turku.
Short bios
Jorijn Neyrinck is a cultural anthropologist. She’s the coordinator of the NGO Workshop intangible heritage in Belgium, and facilitator for the UNESCO 2003 Convention. Jorijn takes on a cultural broker role in the field among living heritage actors, policy makers, civil society, and academia. Recent commitments: coordinating the work on the webdossier ICH and sustainable tourism, co-organizer for Wiki Loves Living Heritage (2023), vice-chair of the Flemish UNESCO Commission, Steering member of the European Network of Focal Points for the UNESCO 2003 Convention (ENFP), member in the Evaluation Body of the 2003 Convention (2019-2023), and lead partner for the ICH and Museums Project (IMP) in Europe.

Katriina Siivonen is University Lecturer in Futures Studies and Adj. Prof. in Cultural Heritage Studies in University of Turku. She is vice-chair of the Expert Panel for Sustainable Development in Finland and co-chair of Working Group on Sustainable Development in the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils Network (EEAC Network). She has been the chair of the Advisory Board of the implementation of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Finland (2014-2022). She has led numerous participatory futures research projects during last 20 years. Currently she is co-leading three transdisciplinary research projects: the Finnish LAB in the Horizon Europe project IN SITU, the project ECOCRIN funded by Business Finland, and project SISU funded by the Academy of Finland / Strategic Research Council. She is expert in ethnography, participatory methodology in futures studies, identities, intangible cultural heritage, heritage futures and cultural sustainability transformation.

Chiara Bortolotto holds the UNESCO chair in Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development, at CY Cergy Paris Université. Her research explores the social life of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage addressing in particular the intersection between heritage and sustainable development. Her work is based on an ethnography of the UNESCO policy world where she explores the performative power of administrative apparatuses and the role of human emotions in the making of global governance.

After obtaining a Phd in social and cultural anthropology, Séverine Cachat directed the French Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage from 2011 to 2021 and the Maison des Cultures du Monde from 2017 to 2021. Today a consultant, she is a member of the global facilitators' network for the 2003 Convention (UNESCO) and an expert for the Ethnological and Intangible Heritage Committee (French Ministry of Culture).
  • 18/01/2024 14.00-16.00 CET

ICH and climate change: exploratory round table

Round table speakers :
  • Alexandre Caussé, Head of the Secretariat, JPI Cultural Heritage and Global Change, Fondation des Sciences du Patrimoine
  • Laurier Turgeon, Professor of ethnology and history, Université Laval (TBC)
  • Lily Martinet, Officer in charge of intangible cultural heritage in the Department of Research, Promotion and Intangible Cultural Heritage at the French Ministry of Culture
  • Sophie Starrenburg, Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden Law School and postdoctoral researcher in the ‘Constitutionalising in the Anthropocene’ research group at Tilburg University
  • Geoffry Gowland, Research Fellow at the Section of Educational Sciences, University of Geneva
  • Florence Graezer Bideau, Senior scientist and lecturer, Head of the Heritage, Anthropology and Technologies Research Group, College of Humanities, EPFL
  • Émilie Gascon, Assistant Professor, École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Versailles
  • Chantal Bisschop, Staff member intangible heritage, Centre For Agrarian History
  • Theresa Tribaldos, UNESCO Chair "Natural and Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Mountain Development", University of Bern

  • 04/03/2024 14.00-16.00 CET
Ju Xi
Dragon King Rituals and Drought-Flood Disasters in Beijing's Western Mountainous Region

Beijing is located on the border between the Mongolian Plateau and the North China Plain, and its western mountains belong to the remnants of the Taihang Mountains, with an altitude difference of more than 2,300 metres from the centre of Beijing. This area is perennially dry, with annual precipitation of about 300-500 mm, and almost all of which is concentrated in July-August, making it extremely prone to floods and mudslides every summer. The coexistence of high drought and summer flooding has led the popular religion in this area often centered on the worship of the Dragon King, which symbolize water. In particular, the rituals of the Dragon King in Puwa village, which has effectively organised communal action against droughts and floods, today has been listed in the Beijing Municipal Intangible Cultural Heritage Index. On 31 July 2023, a huge flood "unlike any that has ever occurred in recorded history" hit most of the villages of western Beijing. The miraculous survival of the Dragon King temple in Puhua Village, not only has created a sensation in the local community as well as on social media, but also has given a new rise to the Dragon King rituals. This talk will start from the Dragon King ritual in Pohwa village, present firstly the strategies and mechanism of the local society in living with natural disasters over the centuries, then the potential of intangible cultural heritage in confronting the escalating challenges of our contemporary climate crisis.

Ju Xi, associate professor in School of Sociology of Beijing Normal University, is an ethnologist of Chinese popular religion. She get her Ph.D in Folklore Studies, School of Chinese Language and Literature, Beijing Normal University. This was followed by post-doctoral research in EFEO and in EHESS in France, and now her main field of research is the local history and the rituals in Beijing, particularly concentrated on the daily life and religious activities between the 18th to the 20th century through the lens of temple. Mainly based on ethnological fieldwork, she has published several papers discussing the popular religion in the late imperial Beijing, the local religious organizations in the Republic of China, as well as the change of urban landscape associated with the declination of local religion.
  • 26/03/2024 14.00-16.00 CET
Anita Vaivade
Policy Developments on Crafts in Europe: An Insight in Tracks4Crafts

Safeguarding traditional craftsmanship, defined as a domain of intangible cultural heritage in the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, may be connected to a diversity of policy and legal contexts, especially regarding a craft as an economic activity. These may include, among others, cultural policies to sustain the transmission of traditional knowledge and skills, and to support the work of creative professionals, as well as intellectual property policies aiming to secure economic benefits for innovation. While exploring examples of policy and legislative developments on crafts in Europe, a question will be asked on how these developments address the linkage between the work of an individual craftsperson and a broader heritage community.

This presentation will provide an insight into the work in progress and initial observations of the research project "Tracks4Crafts. Transforming crafts knowledge for a sustainable, inclusive and economically viable heritage in Europe", funded by the European Commission research and innovation programme Horizon Europe (2023-2027, https://tracks4crafts.eu/). The UNESCO Chair on Intangible Cultural Heritage Policy and Law at the Latvian Academy of Culture is one of altogether fifteen consortium partners.

Anita Vaivade is Associate Professor of Cultural Heritage Studies and Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair on Intangible Cultural Heritage Policy and Law at the Latvian Academy of Culture. Having background in humanities, cultural sociology and legal sciences, she is interested in intangible cultural heritage related domestic and cross-border regional policy and legislative developments in dialogue with the UNESCO 2003 Convention. She has led Latvian delegation to the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Discussant :
  • Inés Moreno, researcher at Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), member of the Horizon Europe CRAEFT project consortium. With a background in visual arts, art history, and choreography, she is currently a PhD candidate at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).  
  • 23/04/2024 14.00-16.00 CET
Evrim Ölçer Özünel and Ahmet Erman Aral
Utilizing Intangible Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Development in Emergency Situations

The intersection of intangible cultural heritage and sustainable development has long captivated the attention of experts and policymakers. While the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has underscored the importance of sustainable development since the early days of the Convention, substantial efforts in this domain have primarily emerged over the past decade. Notably, the comprehensive incorporation of a sustainable development chapter into the Convention’s Operational Directive, achieved after diligent labor, represents a milestone. Against this backdrop, this panel presentation aims to delve into the operational dimensions of intangible cultural heritage in emergency situations, elucidating its nexus with Sustainable Development Goals. In the course of this exploration, concrete examples will be highlighted, particularly within the Turkish context, underscoring the imperative role of intangible cultural heritage in scenarios such as migration, flooding, natural disasters, and seismic events.

Prof. Dr. Evrim Ölçer Özünel is a distinguished faculty member within the Department of Turkish Folklore at Ankara Hacı Bayram University. Her academic expertise encompasses a range of vital subjects, including the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, the art of storytelling, intangible cultural heritage museology, safeguarding intangible cultural heritage during emergencies, and the principles of sustainable development. Notably, Prof. Özünel holds the position of President at the Institute for Intangible Cultural Heritage, an accredited NGO under the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. She also contributes to the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO as a member of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Experts Committee. In addition she is a member of the UNESCO International Facilitators Network, and the UNESCO ICH Evaluation Body. Prof. Özünel also serves as a member of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Experts Board of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and a contributor to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Scientific Council of ICESCO (The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Beyond her institutional contributions, Prof. Özünel has embarked on an array of international projects and field research endeavours, culminating in publishing articles in esteemed international journals. Her academic contributions span diverse realms, encompassing folklore studies, intangible cultural heritage museology, and various aspects of folkloristics. Moreover, she is an international storyteller attending and organizing many national and international storytelling festivals. Besides, she has authored books catering to a younger audience, harnessing the therapeutic potential of intangible cultural heritage during emergencies.

Ahmet Erman Aral, Associate Professor at the Department of Turkish Folklore and Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair on Intangible Cultural Heritage in Formal and Informal Education at the Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University. He is also member of the ICH Experts Committee at the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO and UNESCO Global Network of Facilitators. His PhD dissertation is titled, “Intangible Cultural Heritage Education and Cultural Transmission: The Case of Turkey”. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Antwerp, Research Group Antwerp Cultural Heritage Sciences (ARCHES) from 2021 September to June 2022. His research interests focus on education’s function for the safeguarding of ICH, cultural diplomacy and history of folklore.

Discussant :
  • Agnese Mussatti, PhD candidate in Analysis and Management of Cultural Heritage at IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca. She holds a master's degree cum laude in Law from the University of Turin and is currently visiting researcher at the Institut des Sciences sociales du politique (École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay) and at the Faculty of Law of the UPEC University of Paris, where she is conducting comparative research for her doctoral dissertation on the intangible dimension of cultural heritage. Since 2022, Agnese has also been a research collaborator at Fondazione Santagata for the Economics of Culture in Turin.