Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development An Educator’s Handbook MODULE 1 Building a Common Language SESSION 1 Cultural Heritage, Values, Definitions & Concepts This presentation is part of the InHeriT project: This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use, which may be made of the information contained therein. ERASMUS+ KA2 STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP ADULT EDUCATION PROJECT NO. 2015-1-EL01-KA204-014085 Prepared by: Nikolas Patsavos, Adjunct Lecturer, School of Architecture, Technical University of Crete
Mapping the Meaning of Cultural Heritage T.1 Cultural heritage may be defined as the entire corpus of material signs – either artistic or symbolic – handed on by the past to each culture and, therefore, to the whole of the humankind. As a constituent part of the affirmation and enrichment of cultural identities, as a legacy belonging to all humankind, the cultural heritage gives each particular place its recognizable features and is the storehouse of human experience. The preservation and presentationof the cultural heritage are therefore a corner-stone of any cultural policy. UNESCO Cultural Heritage Division, 1989.
Mapping the Meaning of Cultural Heritage T.1 UNESCO Cultural Heritage Division, 1989. Published by Craterre-ENSAG / Convention France-UNESCO
Mapping the Meaning of Cultural Heritage T.1 Heritage is almost always related to the concept of territoryas both a geographical and cultural entity. It is also related to social and community organizations, which are often formalized today as territorial administrative units. Let us not forget that, in many traditions, nature, or some of its components, are perceived as having a soul, and this fact must always be taken into consideration. UNESCO Cultural Heritage Division, 1989. Published by Craterre-ENSAG / Convention France-UNESCO
Mapping the Meaning of Cultural Heritage T.1 Any territory is associated with the cultural legacy that has been passed down from generation to generation. This makes it possible for the communities to place themselves within a timelessness, which confers distinctive characteristics to a given territory and constitutes the base of the construction of a common cultural identity. It is advisable to identify the most significant cultural elements, both material and immaterial, attached to a territory, and which are regarded by the population as bearing particular spiritual and symbolic meanings. UNESCO Cultural Heritage Division, 1989. Published by Craterre-ENSAG / Convention France-UNESCO
Mapping the Meaning of Cultural Heritage T.1 These elements vary from one territory to another : they can refer to sacred sites, to the characteristics of a cultural landscape, to the richness of the local craftsmanship, to the qualities of a particular architecture, to the oral traditions, to folk poetry and chants, to festive ritual manifestations, et.al. UNESCO Cultural Heritage Division, 1989. Published by Craterre-ENSAG / Convention France-UNESCO
Mapping the Meaning of Cultural Heritage T.1 Cultural district is a territory with spatially allocated cultural assets and activities, which form a distributed spatial and immaterial network, where private and public stakeholders along with local communities aim to foster, revitalize and augment local development and to cultivate sustained value creation. InHeriT, O4 Local Context Studies, Vertical Studies, 2017
Mapping the Meaning of Cultural Heritage T.1 ACultural District is the result of a dynamic ongoing self organizational process, rather than a finite, bottom up planned development scenario, thus the boundary of such district is not explicitly defined, neither needs to comply with administrative district borders. A strategic initial leverage aims to bring together representatives of culture, investors, local community and the public sector to set up a relatively abstract field, where social, economic and cultural phenomena will emerge from the self organization of the activities that will materialize from their synergy. InHeriT, O4 Local Context Studies, Vertical Studies, 2017
Discussion 1 A.1 What could be the possible use of the attached Chania Cultural District Map for the sake of policy makers, planners, cultural institutions and organizations, entrepreneurs and other local (or not) stakeholders? InHeriT, O4 Local Context Studies, Vertical Studies - Chania, 2017
Species of Culture T.2 a/ Originally, the term CULTURE in English referred to some sort of specific human activity… ex. Agriculture and viticulture. In that sense, the term originates from a dual tension between LAND and CITY, if we are to consider in parallel the rise of the term CIVILIZATIONwhich originates not from land, but from the city [CIVITAS].
Species of Culture T.2 b/ Later on, the term came to refer to all spiritual endeavors of a people or a nation …literature, theatre, art, philosophy etc… This approach suggests a hierarchical distinctionbetween high and low culture, official-true-canonical-ideal-exclusive-monumental culture on the one hand, and informal-ephemeral-everyday-mass (popular) culture on the other.
Species of Culture T.2 c/ Eventually, the meaning of the term, from a wider anthropological perspective, came to include: the whole of the cultural heritage of a people,in other words: all that a society creates and transfers to future generations through social and not biological processes.
Species of Culture T.2 In that sense, material (non-artistic) artifactsas such are also part of culture since they present a society’s way of adaptingto both the wider environmental and societal context and challenges. Objects are examined not per se, but in accordance to the ideas they may symbolize, the concepts they may represents, the necessities they may serve, in short, to their socialfunction. Thus, a cultural system crystallizes both the objective conditions of a society’s existence and the social as well as personal-subjective emotions, interpretations and expressions of these objectivities.
Species of Culture T.2 This is a historical process indeed in the sense and it’s important to know not just what got inherited and how it evolved, but also what got forgotten and why. Continuities and rupturesare both to be studied. In contrast to LINEAR conceptions of the human past by classical history, a more RELATIVE ‘psychoanalytical’ approach to the past would emphasize on memory as the art of forgettingand the quasi-’biological’ bifurcations in the way cultural artifacts of the past have been perceived and appreciated by different people in different historical contexts in an adaptive evolutionary fashion.
Discussion 2 A.2 Just before the construction of King Otto’s Athenian Palace in early 19th century, the famous Bavarian Architect Leo von Klenze proposed they should be build on the Acropolis Hill. What could that mean regarding the classicist architect’s perception of the greek past?
Discussion 2 A.2 Your Majesty has marched today, after centuries of barbarism, for the first time on the Acropolis, following the path of civilization and glory, the path of such equals as Themistocles, Aristides, Kimon and Pericles. This (the Acropolis) is ought to be the symbol of Your glorious Kingdom in the eyes of the people. All remains of barbarity should be removed and the traces of the glorious past should come to light again as the solid foundation of a glorious past and future. Greece is delivering back to the civilized world, clean from any barbaric addition, a noble monument of the Hellenic spirit. Leo von Klenze, addressing the King in a public speech on the Acropolis after the first cleansing and restoration works under his supervision.
Culture Makes Sense T.3 All people, whether recognized authors, artists, scholars and scientists or common laymen and others, producers and consumers, participate in the cultural network(s) in their own way. In that sense, culture, though social and cultural relation are often conflictual and dynamic, is an inclusive concept which emphasizes on issues of uniqueness and identity. Is that a paradox?
Culture Makes Sense T.3 From an anthropological point of view, a work of art or an artifact, a poem or a tool, are neither examined merely from an artistic or a technological point of view, but in terms of their relation to certain human-social needs, behaviors etc. For example, a folk song are of equal initial interest for the researcher as a sonnet, while a house could be examined by reference to public beliefs about family and/ or female sexuality.
Culture Makes Sense - SUMMARY T.3 So, CULTURE refers to the organized system of knowledges, beliefs according which a SOCIAL GROUP, structures its function and its perceptions, standardizes its activities and selects among alternatives: this is a system of socio-cultural thinking and acting that we may recognize in its projection to both architectural and natural space (man-made or not). In that sense, we may also adopt the more descriptive term CULTURAL LANDSCAPE.
Discussion 3 A.3 Discuss the possible meaning of Umberto Eco’s conceptual diagram on the value of a cultural object/ work using relative examples of your choice. Intentio operis intentio auctoris intentio lectoris
Discussion 4 A.4 Who decides about what happens to heritage assets? Experts or the public? Based on a specific project you will present, please identify how decision making processes were working, who and how was deciding.