Intangible Cultural Heritage Network meeting

Intangible Cultural Heritage Network meeting

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With great success and extensive participation, the first meeting of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Network was held by the Directorate of Modern Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture, at the Serafeio Community Complex of the Municipality of Athens, on 25 & 26 November 2023. On Friday, November 24th, at the Andorra Cinema, a pre-festival screening of the documentaries “The Koulouriοtiko Hasapiko” folk dance, which was produced by the Lykeion ton Ellinidon, Salamina Brunch, and ” Loukoumi, 200 years of history”, which was produced by the Association of Asia Minor of Ermoupolis, Syros, took place. MedINA could not miss the action! After the screening of the documentaries, it offered the attendees traditional, handmade delicacies and wine from Lemnos.

On Saturday and Sunday, 25-26 November, MedINA participated in the meeting held at the Serafeio Complex, through Alexis Katsaros, Irini Lyratzaki and Rafail Giannelis. Among our friends and partners we attended -with great pleasure- approximately 50 presentations from all the organizations that comprise the network and participated in the event with a poster entitled “This is our food: Lemnos as a gastronomic destination”.

The two-day conference was divided into three main topics. The first one was based on the promotion of Intangible Cultural Heritage elements and included presentations related to the role of ICH and practices aimed at its proper promotion and communication within the communities of the elements bearers themselves. The second topic concerned safeguarding projects and the way in which traditional knowledge is passed on and ultimately finds its place in contemporary reality. The two-day conference concluded with the third topic and presentations dealing with the mobilisation, now, of the communities that constitute the natural actors of the LRA by region.

On Sunday and in the context of the second topic, MedINA’s Executive Director, Alexis Katsaros, moderated the discussion “Safeguarding Plans”, together with Yannis Drinis, Head of the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Intercultural Issues. The session included presentations on traditional building methods and materials such as stone and marble, traditional fishing methods, polyphonic ensembles and the role of archives in the documentation and promotion of heritage elements.

On the same day and during the third thematic session, Irini Lyratzaki and Rafail Giannelis presented MedINA’s actions on the island of Lemnos, which have been implemented in cooperation with Directorate of Modern Cultural and Intangible Cultural Heritage and local institutions for many years, through their presentation “This is our food: Lemnos as a gastronomic destination and the role of ICH in enhancing community self-awareness”. Through agro-food, directly linked to the cultural profile of the island, we tried to highlight the role that food plays in Lemnos and what it can symbolise or signify for those who produce and consume it. We discussed the practices and worldview that frame a traditional recipe, from the cultivation of the raw materials to its final consumption.

It is worth noting that on Saturday morning, Minister of Culture Mrs. Lina Mendoni welcomed all attendees and shared the importance that the Ministry of Culture attaches to ICH issues, as well as its future plans for more effective management. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, the Directorate of Modern Cultural and Intangible Cultural Heritage announced how all the organisations will work together, under the coordination of three partners, including MedINA, while attendees from the Polyphonic Caravan and members of DMICH pleasantly surprised us with a snippet of a traditional song from the region of Epirus.

We would like to thank all the organizations that participated in the two-day event for the great atmosphere they created and for sharing their actions! We would also like to thank from the bottom of our hearts DMICH for their long-standing support and cooperation, looking forward to many exciting actions in the near future!