Cultural heritage is a subset that refers to aspects of culture (however that is defined) that are inherited. The term has been increasingly deployed in western academic and critical discourse since UNESCO’s ‘Year of Cultural Heritage’ (YCH) in 2002 and, more particularly, the set of assertions and definitions published to accompany it (archived online at http://portal.unesco.org ).
While heritage and tradition are often invoked as something fixed and essential, the UNESCO documents identify the manner in which they are fluid and contentious, subject to various changes and interpretations, disputes and affirmations. Always in flux, heritage and tradition show different faces to those looking from different positions. One of the most significant aspects of the YCH statements is that their sense of ‘cultural heritage’ is one that acknowledges a whole range of contemporary, vernacular and/or popular practices (rather than just ancient relics, officially recognised ‘folk’ practices or well-established ‘high’ cultural forms.
As importantly, the YCH statements assert the notion that cultural heritage encompasses and interacts with a natural heritage, one of environment and between species. This is, of course, a notion that has been examined by a variety of western anthropologists with particular regard to non-western (pre-development) cultures but he UNESCO assertions move this concept to a more prominent global position. If we use the framework of ecology, UNESCO’s assertions encourage us to attribute a ‘deep ecology’ to aspects of culture and heritage. Consequently, the YCH statements refer to (their concept of) cultural heritage as:
a more global and holistic approach that alone can testify to the universal nature of the human spirit in all its creations. (http://portal.unesco.org )
As the documentation states:
Today, the notion of heritage is an open one which can develop new objects and put forward new meanings as it reflects living culture rather than an ossified image of the past. We have become aware over the last thirty years that nature and culture cannot be separated in our approach to heritage if we are to render a true account of the diversity of cultural manifestations and particularly those in which a close link is expressed between human beings and their natural environment. (ibid)
The YCH statements propose a set of components of cultural heritage that matches their expanded, inclusive vision. The framework incorporates elements often identified as folkloric:
Music and Song
The Performing Arts
Rites and Beliefs
The Movable Cultural Heritage
Traditional Sports and Games
Broader environmental aspects:
Cultural Heritage Sites
Natural Sacred Sites
The Underwater Cultural Heritage
and with practices that are, themselves, representations of cultural heritage:
The Documentary, Media and Digital Heritage
While such a list – and schematisation – is open to debate and further refinement , it provides a useful, multiply-facetted characterisation of cultural heritage. The most productive engagement with this framework is on that seeks to understand particular aspects of cultural practice as located within an interactive, shifting continuum of heritage. While any study of specific forms must, necessarily, extricate these from a wider field (in order to focus on them), it is important to acknowledge and analyse the skeins of meanings and associations that bind them to broader sweeps of heritage.
Nathan Abshire: Seul et son accordéon cajun.
“Welcome to Eunice, heart of ACADIANA” ; Panneau qui indique l’entrée dans une ville de Louisiane, “pays de l’ACADIE”.
trio musical, instruments spécifiques de la musique cajun
Nathan Abshire Trio musical
héritage de la guerre
Héritage de la guerre
Murs éclatés par un obus.
façade d’une abbaye picarde
façade de l’abbaye
Le vitrail des cathédrales a pour fonction de symboliser l’existence et la présence divine en les lieux.
Entrée de la cathédrale de Reims où furent couronnés tous les rois de France.
Cathédrale de Reims. La relation à la lumière est un trait essentiel de l’héritage religieux, en particulier catholique, qui imprègne dans les goûts populaires.
“Marquage royal” sur trottoir.
Fleur de lys, symbole de la royauté.
Le grand Dérangement
Lys sur trottoir.
Francophonie et métissage: “ma négresse”
Zachary Richard – 2
Zachary Richard – 1
La levée des 300 – Tri yann
Les prisons de Nantes (2)
Les prisons de Nantes (1)- Tri yann.
Pièce Zydéco – Daisy belle.
Ô Marie – Daniel Lanois
J’m’en fous pas mal – Steve Riley.
The Pine Grove Blues – Nathan Abshire
La valse de l’amour – Sady Courville
La valse napoléonienne – Sady Courville