Intangible Cultural Heritage

Sustainable Safeguarding through Participation: Empowering Cultural Heritage and Institutional Crowdsourcing Engagement


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Nina Jinks

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

MEMORIAMEDIA Review 3. Art.6. 2018



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Heritage as a field of study, a means for intervention, and a language of recognition all share a common challenge regarding the representation of the individual and collective self: coping with the newness and performativity of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) while confronting its linear hegemonic narratives. Many contend that where subjectivities and diversity have been historically ignored, they can and should be encouraged through participatory methodologies that foster reflection, collaboration, co-authorship, restitution, and a democratic dissemination of cultural knowledge. This paper aims to draw from and add to this challenge, as much theoretically as concretely, by analysing the value of diverse participatory models of crowdsourcing heritage built and maintained by heritage institutions in the UK and Sweden. It will be argued how a deeper analysis of user-generated content, while paramount to inventory and dissemination, is itself a sustainable safeguard to the practice of ICH management, by enabling agency and communication.



Keywords:participatory heritage, crowdsourcing, dissemination, safeguarding