Since 2015, the Latvian Academy of Culture has been engaged in the European Network of Observatories in the Field of Arts and Cultural Education linked to UNESCO (ENO). http://www.eno-net.eu/
Whether cultural heritage unites or separates people in Europe is one of the key issues studied in the three-year research project “CoHERE” (“Critical Heritages: Performing and Representing Identities in Europe”), which is financially supported by the European programme for research and innovation “Horizon 2020” (http://h2020.lv/) and unites 12 partners from various European research institutions, including the Research Centre of the Latvian Academy of Culture.
In Latvia, this is one of the few projects in the humanities and social sciences supported by the EU programme “Horizon 2020”. All in all, 147 project proposals were submitted in the sub-programme “Europe in a changing world: Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies” (http://h2020.lv/lv/eiropas-programmas/horizonts-2020/sabiedribas-izaicinajumi/ieklaujosa-novatoriska-un-domajosa-sabiedriba). The possibility to carry out their research activities in an international consortium of scholars will give a new, unique experience to the researchers of the LAC Research Centre and provide the opportunity to analyse and evaluate the expressions of Latvian cultural heritage on a broader comparative scale.
The Latvian Academy of Culture is one of 12 partners of this project. The leading partner is the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK). Other partners – Aarhus University (Denmark), the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands), the National and Capodistrian University of Athens (Greece), Istanbul Bilgi University (Turkey), the University of Bologna (Italy), Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (Denmark), Heriot-Watt University (UK), the European Network of Cultural Centres (the Netherlands), the Museum of the History of Polish Jews/ POLIN (Poland), the National Museum of World Cultures (the Netherlands).
Researchers of the project study cultural heritage from various aspects and identify the differences how individuals, communities and institutions in European countries interpret and use cultural heritage as well as characterise the conditions how the sense of belonging or otherness is created. The role of museums, cultural education, tourism, language, music and dance in strengthening the identity of various cultures is analysed within the framework of the project as well. The researchers of the LAC Research Centre are also continuing and advancing their previous research on the tradition of Baltic song and dance celebration and its sustainability in the contemporary world, which was started within the state research programme "Habitus: Sustainability of Latvian Cultural Traditions in an Innovative Environment: 2014-2017" (http://habitus.lka.edu.lv/). However, within the “CoHERE” project this research will be done in a broader – European – context, comparing the expressions of cultural heritage in the Baltic States with other traditions included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The head of the project Professor Christopher Whitehead of Newcastle University, the School of Arts and Cultures, recognizes that in the current European political climate it is a great challenge to study the different expressions of cultural heritage and how they could help to create a more united Europe.
The expected results of the project include research papers and monographs, a series of seminars and academic-practical discussions, as well as the development of practical recommendations for cultural policy makers. Ethnomusicologist Valdis Muktupāvels, Professor of the University of Latvia, has undertaken the task of translating the research findings of the project in the language of art – in the form of an oratorio – and stage a multimedia performance together with the students of the Latvian Academy of Culture and Heriot-Watt University to show the traditional and contemporary expressions of the European cultural heritage.
From the side of the Latvian Academy of Culture, the project is headed by the Rector of the LAC, Professor Rūta Muktupāvela, who believes that the participation in the biggest ever European programme for research and innovation “Horizon 2020” is a serious challenge for the national institution of cultural education and a great opportunity at the same time: “Clearly, it will be very intensive work, but I’m very happy about two things – the ability to evaluate the capacity of the LAC researchers at an international level and the opportunity to involve the best of our MA and PhD students in a European-level research, who already develop innovative research methods in studying cultural phenomena and participate in international networks for young scholars and artists, convincingly pursuing the course of growth and development for the Latvian Academy of Culture.”
The project will be implemented in the period of 2016 to 2019, and the total amount of funding from the EU programme “Horizon 2020” is EUR 2.5 million (EC H2020 funded research project under grant agreement 693289).
Home page of the project: https://research.ncl.ac.uk/cohere/
Head of the Project in the Latvian Academy of Culture
Prof., Dr. art. Rūta Muktupāvela
For more information contact: Dr.art. Baiba Tjarve, firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2017, the Research Centre of the Latvian Academy of Culture (RCLAC) conducted a survey of inhabitants of the Baltic States on their participation in the movement of the Song and Dance Celebration. The survey was carried out by the RCLAC within the framework of the state research programme Sustainability of Latvian Cultural Traditions in an Innovative Environment (Habitus) and the research project Critical Heritages: Performing and Representing Identities in Europe (CoHere), which is funded through the EU programme Horizon 2020.
The project "A Comparative Research on Intangible Cultural Heritage Law in Europe" (2016-2017) is the result of cooperation between the LAC Research Centre and the Institute of Social Sciences of Politics (ISP, Paris, France). It is an extension of the project "Establishing the Research Framework for Intangible Culture Heritage Law" (2014-2015), which has developed a set of methods for comparison of the national state laws on intangible cultural heritage and facilitated international cooperation between researchers by involving experts of corresponding fields from different countries in the implementation of the project. The research partnership projects have been implemented in connection with the state research programme "Habitus: Sustainability of Latvian Cultural Traditions in an Innovative Environment: 2014-2017" (http://habitus.lka.edu.lv/).
The past two years of the project implementation at the Latvian Academy of Culture are marked by the international research seminar “Intangible Cultural Heritage: National Law and Subjective Rights”, which took place in Riga. The seminar reflected on the legal aspects of safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, emphasizing two aspects in particular: firstly, the attention to the development of national legal systems, be it amendments to existing legal texts, adopted novel laws or deliberate abstention from any legislation at all; and, secondly, the establishment, interpretation, and application of subjective rights for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The activities of 2016-2017 are focused on a comparative analysis of national laws in Europe with the aim to grasp the diversity of desires to safeguard intangible cultural heritage in the form of legislation. The planned collaboration is directed to the identification of a European perspective on the issue on the basis of a network of experts who work in the field of intangible cultural heritage research in various European countries. Two European sub-regions in particular have been selected for this purpose - Baltic States and Nordic countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark) and Romance-speaking Europe (France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal). The framework of the research is essentially interdisciplinary comprising law, semiotics, history and ethnology.
Home page of the project: dpc.hypotheses.org/le-projet-osmose
Head of the Project
Dr. art. Anita Vaivade and Dr. iur. Marie Cornu
For more information contact: Dr. art. Anita Vaivade, email@example.com