Accepted paper:

Frames: toward an ethnography of the EU policies on protecting and valorising cultural heritage


Letizia Bindi (Università degli Studi del Molise)

Paper short abstract:

The paper analyses institutional EU contexts and documents in which 'discourses and practices' of valorisation and protection of cultural heritage has been developed in last decades. Cultural anthropology is questioning this idea of cultural heritage, particularly immaterial, as a common european 'property', but also as an economic engine.

Paper long abstract:

Focussing on European Programmes on research, protection and valorisation of Cultural Heritage the paper starts from an analysis of the key-words used in the official documents, in the programmes guidelines, in the already evaluated and financed projects. An 'institutional thinking' on immaterial cultural heritage emerges: ritual expressions, traditional practices and ceremonial systems are important elements of local development, but also of interaction among different cultural contexts in the EU space. Many documents and programmes, for example, concern cooperative research, dissemination projects and trans-national training and education on these topics. A 'discourse' on common European identity has been elaborated in these institutional processes, especially concerning traditions and ritualised relations to territories. At the same time a 'discourse' on European pre-Christian common roots begins to be developed as a way of cross-cultural dialogue and of internal cohesion besides religious, political, ethnical diversities.

panel W033
Anthropology of policies and ideology of capitalism in the EU