Singapore Symposium on ICH in Multicultural Urban Cities

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Singapore will organize its second intangible cultural heritage (ICH) symposium, entitled “ICH in Cities: Multiculturalism, Social Cohesion and Sustainability,” from 30 to 31 October 2019 at the Asian Civilisations Museum’s Ngee Ann Auditorium in Singapore. The symposium will explore the roles of ICH in multicultural, cosmopolitan societies, especially in terms of promoting community identity and fostering intercultural understanding among diverse communities.

The two-day symposium will bring together international ICH experts, NGOs, ICH associations and practitioners, heritage groups and enthusiasts, academics, researchers, and students. Among those who will be attending the symposium are ICH experts and researchers from UNESCO, ICHCAP, Slovakia, Jamaica, Italy, Malaysia, France, Thailand, the Netherlands, and Singapore.

The objectives of the ICH symposium are to promote the sharing of international best practices in safeguarding and promoting ICH in cities, to facilitate networking and relationship building among ICH experts from different parts of the world, and to contribute to capacity building in the field of ICH in Singapore and the wider region.

The ICH symposium will feature keynote addresses by Ms. Duong Bich Hanh, Chief of Culture Unit, UNESCO Bangkok Office, and Mr. Gi Hyung Keum, Director-General, ICHCAP. It will comprise a full day of panel discussions by eminent speakers along four thematic tracks, followed by a half-day roundtable discussion and a cultural tour.

For the first track on “ICH and Multiculturalism: Issues & Challenges,” speakers will share examples of how research and documentation of ICH are carried out in multicultural contexts and/or urban environments; examine the importance and roles of ICH in facilitating cross-cultural understanding and community building (especially in multicultural societies); and highlight related issues and challenges in conducting research and documentation of ICH in such multicultural societies and/or cities.

For the second track on “Safeguarding ICH in Multicultural Societies,” speakers will share their experience and lessons learned with regard to implementing and monitoring ICH safeguarding measures in multicultural societies; elaborate on the threats and opportunities created by economic and technological developments; and offer case studies of how ICH could be safeguarded, promoted, and transmitted in such societies.

For the third track on “ICH and Sustainable Development,” speakers will share their perspectives on the role of ICH in different aspects of sustainable development; present case studies that illustrate the linkage(s) between ICH and sustainable development; and explore how ICH can foster inclusivity and promote social cohesion.

And for the fourth track on “Cultural Policies and Frameworks on ICH,” speakers will share the cultural frameworks and policies from their respective countries; discuss the considerations and challenges in developing and implementing such frameworks and policies; and offer their views on the way forward for future cultural frameworks and policies and their impact on safeguarding, promoting, and transmitting ICH.

Through the organization of ICH symposiums, the National Heritage Board and its partners hope to raise greater awareness about ICH, facilitate research, and share knowledge on ICH, and in doing so, strengthen ICH-related capabilities locally and regionally.

To find out more about the symposium and/or to register, please visit the symposium web page at: