Call for proposals International conference and Expert meeting: Intangible Cultural Heritage, Museums and Urbanised Society

 Swiss Alpine Museum, Berne (CH) | September 25-26, 2018
Four museum professionals from The Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, France and Belgium (twenty in total) will be invited to participate to the International conference and Expert meeting on ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage, Museums and Urbanised Society’ that will take place on September 25 and 26, 2018 in the Swiss Alpine Museum in Berne. During this International conference and Expert meeting, participants will discuss and reflect on the role(s) museums can play in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in urbanised contexts.

IMP invites museums from the five partnering countries to submit inspiring examples on the topic of intangible cultural heritage and urbanised society to be presented during this two-day meeting in Berne.


Urbanised landscapes are the context in which a lot of practices of intangible heritage – such as oral traditions; performing arts; social practices, rituals and festive events; knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; and the knowledge and skills to produce (traditional) crafts – take shape and place.

The last few decades rapid changes are occurring in cities worldwide, among others due to globalisation processes, rapidly evolving technology, rural-urban as well as worldwide migration patterns, ...

Some urban intangible heritage practices may have disappeared over the course of time. Others have transformed in interaction with their changing environment, and continue to evolve, having perhaps a more hybrid character than before. And still other ones have newly emerged : think of contemporary youth culture practices; or expressions of intangible heritage that people with a background in migration continue to perform and pass on in their new places of residence, be it within ‘source communities’ or in the compound of new (urban) groups and communities, that have many possible compositions and dynamics.

Is the diversity of ICH experiences and of its related communities, groups and individuals – that are the bearers and practitioners of these urban traditions – present in todays’ thematic and city museums, or exhibition houses? And how does ICH provide these practitioners with a sense of identity and belonging, within the fabric of contemporary cities? What role can museums play in identifying, documenting, researching, promoting, enhancing and transmitting ICH in today’s urbanised society, together with its practitioners? In other words, what role can they play in safeguarding intangible heritage in urbanised contexts? And, by doing so, how do they contribute to social cohesion in the city and other urbanised areas, increased welfare, urban regeneration, …?

What are driving forces in urban projects involving museums and ICH? And what are conditions, challenges or barriersto be faced and overcome? What roles do heritage workers, interlinking ICH and museums work in urbanised society, come across? Which types of projects are being elaborated along the lines of museums, ICH and urbanised culture in recent years? Urban crafts for the museum (work)shop? Urban ICH performances as part of the museum’s program? Participatory activities or other cooperations? Practicioners as co-curators? Local/urban festivities and neighbourhood activities facilitated by museum workers? …

Do you have a fascinating experience, a successful case or a challenging example to share with colleagues in the field? IMP welcomes you to share an inspiring example in which you elaborate on a concrete project/program/exhibition, in which (practices and/or) practitioners of intangible cultural heritage, museums and urbanised societies interact (in the process of safeguarding).
By completing the online submission form by May 7, 2018, elaborating on your inspiring example, you can submit your application for attending the two-day meeting in Berne. The members of the IMP Steering Group will assess the submissions and inform you by May 28, 2018 whether your proposal is accepted.

Simbdea, società italiana per la museografia e i beni demoetnoantropologici.

c/o Museo internazionale delle marionette Antonio Pasqualino
Piazzetta Antonio Pasqualino 5 - 90133 Palermo

CF: 03251180406

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