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At the UNESCO Feast: Foodways across Global Heritage Governance I

Decorative image for session At the UNESCO Feast: Foodways across Global Heritage Governance I

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Session with simultaneous translation / Session avec traduction simultanée
13:30, Samedi 4 Juin 2016 (3 heures 30 minutes)
Heritage Changes the PoliciesIntangible HeritageTourism
Heritage changes the policiesHeritage policiesGlobal vs localSimultaneous translation - Traduction simultanée
With sustainable development gaining momentum as a priority of UNESCO heritage policies, an increasing number of food-related nominations are being submitted for inscription on the lists of the Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage. The Mediterranean diet, traditional Mexican cuisine and the Japanese dietary culture of washoku are just some examples of this booming phenomenon.
Since food and foodways are powerful references for self-representation and identity-making, the heritage vocabulary has long been associated with the promotion of local products and culinary preparations. Festivals and tourism contribute to establishing culinary districts and boosting local economies. As food consumption is intrinsically associated with market principles, economic considerations are interlinked with the food-related heritage project more than with other heritage domains. The particular stakes underpinning this field have led to the establishment of international and interregional norms governing intellectual property rights. The coordination of these instruments with international and regional norms protecting intangible cultural heritage is shaping new heritage regimes for agro-biological diversity and foodways.
In exploring the recent heritage legitimacy afforded to food-related cultural expressions by the UNESCO Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, and in analysing the challenges and controversies shaping this field at the international level, this session will contribute to debate over the main theme of the conference, namely “What does heritage change?” The ultimate aim of this session, however, is to investigate how the international heritage apparatus changes existing categories, principles and objectives in national heritage policies and local heritage agendas.
We invite contributions that will closely analyse how the interaction of different levels of regulations as well as of institutional and sociocultural priorities shape global heritage policies with outcomes often unforeseen by international policy-makers. Presentations focusing on Europe, Asia and Latin America are particularly welcome. What is at stake in foodways heritage promotion in these regions? What are the different priorities in terms of sustainable development, commercial interests and protection of intellectual property rights? And what is the role of minorities and indigenous people in the establishment of measures of protection of traditional knowledge and agro-food resources in these regions?
Based on a resolute interdisciplinary approach, this session brings together legal scholars and anthropologists to investigate the “creative frictions” emerging from the encounter between the international governmentality apparatus, existing juridical regulations and social uses of heritage. The combination of ethnographic and legal exploration of complex world governance aims at shedding light on the interactions of particular actor networks across multiple scales, thus allowing our analysis to go beyond the simplistic opposition between “global norm” and “local reactions.”
We invite in particular contributions on the effects of UNESCO listing of food-related elements or on the preparation of food-related nominations. 

Sous sessions

13:30 - 14:00 | 30 minutes

As the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted by different countries in Latin America, various aspects of food culture became the focus of heritage policies. Mexico submitted and obtained the inscription of its cuisine on the UNESCO list and has been promoting it through CONACULTA (National Council of Culture), a section of the Ministry of Culture. Brazil developed its own policy within its national heritage institute, the Institute of the Na...

Dr. Esther Katz

13:30 - 14:00 | 30 minutes

This paper will critically examine the “creative frictions” between intellectual property rights protection through geographical indications or trademarks applied to food products and the safeguarding of foodways as intangible heritage under the 2003 UNESCO Convention.   Foodways are clearly part of “culture” as broadly defined in the MONDIACULT conference of 1982, but initially there was some debate as to whether everyday food culture qualified as “intangible cultural heritage” un...

13:30 - 14:00 | 30 minutes

This paper will look into and analyze the interface between the protection of food and foodways by means of their inscription on the UNESCO List of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), on the one hand, and the European Union system of geographical indications and designations of origin, on the other. The EU is a strong proponent of geographical indications and designations of origin, promoting the expansion of rights on the international level and ...

13:30 - 14:00 | 30 minutes

Are foodways and culinary traditions the missing “f-words”? The domains mentioned in article 2.2 of the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage only go up to “e) traditional craftsmanship.” One can and will fit food and/or drink related items under one or more of the five domains mentioned in that article of the convention. But it could also be considered as one of the domains that is covered under the “inter alia” catch-all, just like traditional, non-o...

13:30 - 14:00 | 30 minutes

This introduction will present the establishment of foodways as a new field in global heritage governance outlining some of the questions that this development raises both in socio-cultural and legal perspective. What do the numerous controversies generated by this development tell us about our relationship with what we cherish and want to transmit to future generation? How can they shed light on the legal conundrums associated with the implementation of the UNESCO Convention for the safeg...

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