TO CAPTURE THE ELUSIVE: Intangible Cultural Heritage

Intangible cultural heritage

by Mila Santova

This book which elaborates on and discusses questions brought up or nor by the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is respectful to this international consent. In it the text of the Convention is accepted as an actual fact which expresses the will of the countries around the world and as a result application of certain cultural policies and a parallel development of theoretical reflxion prove to be possible. A main “character” of the following narrative is the Convention – its history to 2012, therapy its application in Bulgaria, pills the discussion about certain problems it brings up. Since the presentation is closely related to the text of this international document the frequent and in many cases repeated leaning on texts from the Convention is inevitable.

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The structure of the book is mosaic.

The fist part traces out the (pre-)history of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and discusses the fist steps made by Bulgaria in its application. The story is related to a period when the Bulgarian administrative authorities in the sphere of culture worked in a close collaboration with the experts in intangible cultural heritage who actively debated and proposed particular formulae for the application of the Convention in the state. This fruitful collaboration which included the bearers by allowing participation of the Bulgarian chitalishta (community centres) gave results and ranked Bulgaria among the most active countries in safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage. I am myself an immediate participant in these processes proceeding from the position of an expert/researcher.

The second part of the book discusses some problems with relation to the intangible cultural heritage. The list is not exhaustive at all and as a whole this part is not planned as a monographic study. In the course of time, some of the texts included in this part were published as articles on one occasion or another.

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