Intangible Cultural Heritage Tourism

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When it becomes part of the tourism product, who really owns a community's intangible heritage?

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  • Founded in 1753Fishing economy for two hundred yearsNow a cultural tourism destinationHigh social cohesion and community attachmentStrong collective identity & unique traits and characteristics Strong beliefs, values and enduring traditions and customs passed down from generation to generationIndependent and self-sustaining communityCommunity and culture built on principles of interdependency, trust, shared values, social bonding and strong work ethics
  • Mennonite sect, community settled 1880sFarming tradition, now a popular tourism destinationHigh social cohesion and community attachment Strong collective identity & unique traits and characteristics based on religious beliefsLongstanding beliefs, values and enduring traditions and customs passed down from generation to generationIndependent and self-sustaining communityCommunity and culture built on principles of trust, shared values, shared faith, social bonding and strong work ethics
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage Tourism

    1. 1. Intangible Heritage and Tourism, Ownership and Copyrights: Does a Community own its Intangible Cultural Heritage? © Dr. E. Wanda George Mount Saint Vincent University Halifax, NS Canada January 2010
    2. 2. The Fundamental Questions?• Does a community really own its distinctive intangible cultural heritage?• Can a local community „copyright‟ its own cultural expressions - its particular cultural icons, traditional folk art and music, local folklore, myths and stories, language, meaningful landscapes and landmarks, unique architecture…?
    3. 3. Local Cultural Assets Exploited? • Entrepreneurs, governments, marketers, film- makers, photographers, tour operators, artists and others are increasingly appropriating and exploiting local intangible culture and heritage for their own commercial purposes and profit gain. • What about the small rural community which has developed longstanding cultural traditions and assets that now attract a wide range of consuming tourists?
    4. 4. What is Intellectual Property?• “… may be thought of as the use or value of an idea such as inventions, designs, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images and performances” Source: Hoffman, 2006:10• “… creations of the mind - inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce” Source: World Intellectual Property Organization, 2009
    5. 5. Copyrights & Moral©®℗ Rights℠™• Copyrights © • Copyrights, trademarks, and patent laws – forms of protection. • ‘Right to copy.’ The owner of copyright, often the creator, is allowed to produce or reproduce the work or to permit anyone else to do. In Canada, a copyright is restricted to the expression in a fixed manner (e.g. text, recording, or drawing) of an idea; it does not extend to the idea itself.• Moral Rights • No one, including the person who owns the copyright, is allowed to distort, mutilate or otherwise modify your work in a way that is prejudicial to your honour or reputation
    6. 6. Traditional Knowledge“Traditional knowledge and cultural expressions are often the product of intergenerational and fluid social and communal creative processes that reflect and identify a community’s history, cultural and social identity and social values” (Source: Wendland, in Hoffman, 2009:328) Traditional knowledge is:  handed down from one generation to another, either orally or by imitation.  reflects a community’s cultural and social identity.  consists of characteristic elements of a community’ heritage.  made by ‘authors [creators] unknown’ and/or by communities and/or by individuals communally recognized as having the right, responsibility, or permissions to do so.  not made for commercial purposes but as vehicles for religious and cultural expression [social construct].  constantly evolving, developing, and being recreated with the
    7. 7. Indigenous Cultural Heritage Issues • Secret and sacred traditions have been appropriated and exploited by outsiders over centuries • Biopiracy – appropriation of native medicinal plants and remedies • Appropriation of lands and violations of sacred landscapes and cultural spaces, appropriated by tourists • Appropriation by outsiders of the unwanted use of native cultural resources – music,Photos with permission by David Hughes design styles, folktales and
    8. 8. Critical Questions• Should heritage be treated as an inalienable resource?• To what extent can law control the movement of ideas?• Does it make sense for ethnic groups to define their cultural practices as property that cannot be studied, imitated or modified by other without permission?• How far can democratic states go to provide indigenous peoples with cultural protections without violating the rights of the general public?”Source: Brown (2003:6) Source of Slide background: © Reuters Pictures. Participants at the 2009 World Social Forum in the city of Belem, Brazil February 1, 2009
    9. 9. The Das Report• ... society owns its heritage, defined as ‘everything that belongs to the distinct identity of a people and which is theirs to share, if they wish, with other peoples…each indigenous community must retain permanent control over all elements of its heritage, under its owns laws and procedures, but always reserves a perpetual right to determine how shared knowledge is used. Members of such communities own their heritage, including its ‘works, arts and ideas’ (in Brown, 2003, pp. 211)• While indigenous cultures are part of ‘common heritage of all humankind,’ nothing said about the world’s cultural and intellectual commons or whether one should even exist - it takes for granted that indigenous peoples are not part of any public other than their own enclosed conceptual universe
    10. 10. Intangible Heritage• From the Das Report, one can reasonably infer that any social group that qualifies as ‘a people’, indigenous or not, enjoys equality• Intangible cultural heritage – practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces…traditional and living at the same time…constantly being recreated and mainly transmitted orally. The depository of this heritage is the human mind, the human body being the main instrument for its enactment, or – literally – embodiment. The knowledge and skills are often shared within a community, and manifestations of intangible cultural heritage often are performed
    11. 11. Cultural Appropriation• Ziff and Rao (1997:1) define ‘cultural appropriation’ as ‘the taking – from a culture that is not one’s own – of intellectual property, cultural expressions or artifacts, history and ways of knowledge.” Cultural appropriation: – can harm the appropriated community; it can negatively impact the integrity and identities of cultural groups. – can impact the cultural object itself; it can either damage or transform a given cultural good or practice. – wrongly allows some to benefit to the material detriment of others (deprivation of material advantage).• Current law fails to reflect alternative conceptions of what should be treated as property or ownership in cultural goods.
    12. 12. • Do non-indigenous communities not have the same or similar concerns and issue? Do not the same rights of intangible cultural heritage apply also to non- indigenous communities?
    13. 13. LUNENBURG, NOVA SCOTIA P R IN C E E D WA R D IS L A N D S yd n e y NEW 1 05 B R U N S W IC K A m he r st 1 04 N e w G la sg o w A n tig o n is h P o rt H a w ke s b u ry Tr u ro K e n tv ille 1 02 1 01 D ig by N O VA S C O T IA H a lifa x /D a rtm o u th K e jim ku jik B ridg e w a te r N a tio n a l P a r k Lun enbu rg 1 01 To b e a tic Gam e S a n ctu a ry L iv e rp o o l Ya rm o u th S h e lb u rn e 1 03 0 1 00 km L o ck e p o rt B a rrin g to n
    14. 14. LUNENBURG,Rural intangible culture NS appropriated and transformed into commodities for tourism
    15. 15. ST. JACOBS, ONTARIORural intangiblecultural heritageappropriated andtransformed intocommodities for tourism
    16. 16. ConclusionsRural communities create and own their cultural assets.Ownership & copyright issues are complex. However,are communities not entitled to their rightful share ofthe economic benefits that are being reaped by thetourism industry? Is there a solution – one that is more equitable and sustainable that will benefit all stakeholders TODAY and protect intangible cultural heritage for FUTURE GENERATIONS?
    17. 17. A Community Cultural Heritage Preservation FundAll the stakeholders – community, tourism industry and visitor – would be benefactors of a community cultural heritage preservation fundFor the Community • some badly needed resources and a means for a community to enable management and preservation of its cultural heritage assets • monies to subsidize employment of a full-time cultural heritage manager who would be responsible for all functions relating to use of a community‟s cultural heritage resources • give control to the community who could protect the integrity of its own cultural assets and how its cultural heritage gets interpreted to visitors through marketing materials and activities • a resource person to educate the publics about the importance of protecting local cultural heritage assets and ensuring authentic local experiences for visitors
    18. 18. A Community Cultural Heritage Preservation FundFor the Tourism Industry • ensure authentic heritage products and cultural experiences for its customers • provide cultural products that are carefully maintained, protected and reproduced under the jurisdiction of the community (genuinely local) and give a value-added element to existing cultural tourism products • ensure a long term and sustainable „supply‟ of authentic cultural components for industry suppliers and their future customersFor the Visitor • ensure that she/he would receive an authentic and truly local heritage product and cultural experience, a cultural product that has been „certified‟ by the producing community (the actual creators)
    19. 19. A Community Cultural Heritage Preservation Fund Strategy A fund strategy for small rural communities might entail such tactics as:• a visitation fee per head applied to commercial tour operations and their customers who visit/utilize a culture-based tourism community as part of a tour product.• a fee for the opportunity to capture on-site photos of local cultural heritage assets, for example, from inside local museums, churches, schools and any heritage buildings (no photos, no charge).• an entrance fee to local cemeteries, heritage buildings and museums.• licensing fees for outsiders to take and make use local cultural images for their own commercial and marketing purposes.• a fee for commercial film-making in the community.• heritage preservation donation boxes strategically placed around the host community (most tourists are well-educated and understand/respect the importance of preservation).
    20. 20. For full article: George, E. W. (2010). In Press. Intangible cultural heritage,ownership, copyrights, and tourism. International Journal of Culture,Tourism and Hospitality Research, 4 (4).

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