The Capacity Building Workshop “Living Heritage Safeguarding and Sustainable Development. Training of trainers for Greece”, which took place in Lemnos Island, from 8 to 11 May, and was co-organized by The Directorate of Modern Cultural Heritage of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, MedINA and the Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe, under the auspices of UNESCO, was completed with great success.
During the four-day workshop, facilitators and participants had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich food culture of Lemnos, while sharing approaches on how to safeguard, promote and valorise intangible cultural heritage (ICH) for the sustainable development of the island. In this context, we also discussed ways of promoting unique local products linked to intangible cultural heritage, while highlighting the importance of cultural tourism.
The seventeen participants – trainees, including representatives of cultural institutions, academics, cultural managers, etc., were presented with insights and tools by aUNESCO’s accredited facilitators as well as MedINA’s representatives.
More specifically, with the substantial contribution and guidance of Harriet Deacon and Benedetta Ubertazzi, from UNESCO, we used tools for co-designing actions for the promotion of intangible cultural heritage, studied examples from other countries and learned about intellectual property protection in relation toICH.
Irini Lyratzaki, cultural heritage expert at MedINA, presented the “Terra Lemnia” project, while Rigas Zafeiriou, sustainable food systems programme manager at MedINA, referred to the opportunities for sustainable tourism development through the valorisation of the lemnian ood heritage. Finally, Alexis Katsaros, Director of MedINA, presented the study of a model sheep farm, based on the model of the traditional lemnian “mandra”.
Through experiential workshops, all participants had the opportunity to discuss with Lemnian’ food heritage ambassadors, while visiting one of the traditional, local “mandras”. We prepared lemnian pasta (valanes and aftoudia) and learned the secrets of basket weaving by Rafail Giannelis, Lemnos Project Officer of MedINA, who showed us how toweave the traditional “tyrvolia” and prepare the unique local cheeses, “kalathaki” and “melichloro”.
The four-day workshop concluded with the participants developing and presenting a series of proposals about more effective ways of utilising intangible cultural heritage for the sustainable development of Lemnos. These proposals will be reviewed and put forward by MedINA.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Directorate of Modern Cultural Heritage of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe for the outstanding collaboration. We are deeply honoured.
Last but not least, we thank all participants for their unique contributions. We hope that the knowledge and skills acquired will become an asset for many innovative initiatives safeguarding and promoting our country’s living heritage!