Friday, April 01, 2011

The Role of participatory cultural mapping in promoting intercultural dialogue: We are not hyenas; a reflection paper

Cultural mapping involves the representation of landscapes in two or three dimensions from the perspectives of indigenous and local peoples. It is potentially an important tool for UNESCO in its efforts to help Member States and civil society to create platforms for intercultural dialogue, and increase awareness of cultural diversity as a resource for peace building, good governance, fighting poverty, adaptation to climate change and maintaining sustainable management and use of natural resources.

Cultural mapping, if applied wisely, can help to reach the objectives set out in the UNESCO “Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity" (2001) and related recent conventions : the “Convention of the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage” (2003) and the “Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” (2005). Cultural mapping is furthermore relevant to the World Heritage Convention which dates back to 1972, but has undergone major changes since then, expanding the notion of a cultural site and promoting stronger involvement of populations living on the sites.

The aim of this paper entitled "The Role of participatory cultural mapping in promoting intercultural dialogue: We are not hyenas" is to critically consider how cultural mapping can become a good practice of intercultural dialogue and successfully further the aims of the Universal Declaration and the related conventions.

The paper is meant to assist indigenous and local peoples to consider their options and aspirations, to help civil servants and policy makers evaluate how mapping can be a useful tool in cultural policy and inventory work, and for those who are making maps to reflect on their practices.

Source: Nigel Crawhall, 2010, UNESCO

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