Category Archives: 2015


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JURIJN NEYRINCK, Van Onvoltooid Verleden naar Onvoltooide Toekomstige Tijden – Omgaan met immaterieel cultureel erfgoed en diversiteit in een wereld van verandering

Summary: From Past Continuous to Continuous Future Tenses Dealing with Intangible Cultural Heritage and Diversity in a Changing World
The introductory essay to this theme issue of Volkskunde on intangible
cultural heritage (ICH) and diversity, provides a brief sketch of the
development of Dutch and Flemish policies on ICH and diversity, and the effects these policies have on the heritage practice in the Netherlands and Flanders (BE). In order to stimulate reflection on this multilayered and complex theme that is the topic of this Volkskunde issue, the essay puts the Dutch and Flemish experiences regarding ICH and diversity in relation with past, current and future global societal evolutions and worldviews, such
as globalisation, the Cultural Turn, cultural hybridity; concepts such as
multiculturalism and superdiversity, et cetera.
The author takes a constructive though critical position towards the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the safeguarding of ICH and poses questions regarding its aspirations of stimulating dynamic, living cultural heritage practices that correspond with the principles of mutual respect and the prospect of sustainable development. The essay provides possible perspectives and handles
for further developing ICH policy and practice on diversity, such as,
among others: further developing the idea of networks and communities of
ICH-practice; moving away from the approach of a ‘Representative List’ and focusing on best safeguarding practices, capacity building…; developing pro-active policy on ICH & diversity, on the local, national, transnational and international level; rethinking governance regarding ICH; developing a code of ethics for ICH; further developing the role of ICH-brokers and researchers in the process of keying, …
The author concludes by suggesting to continue working along the lines of the itinerary that is taken and the work that is done with the UNESCO 2003
Convention. At the same time she calls for engaging in a necessary shift
(mutation) throughout the processes that take place and the organs that
are involved, if they sincerely aim to sustainably develop ICH practices and
foster cultural diversity.

RIET DE LEEUW, Ruimte voor diversiteit – Het Nederlandse immaterieel erfgoedbeleid

Summary: Room for Diversity the Dutch Policy on Intangible Heritage
Many migrants with a completely different background have come and live in the Netherlands. The locals have become a minority e.g. in the big cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Many of these newcomers are not connected with the traditional cultural institutions. How can the cultural sector more adequately reflect this diversity in its programming as well as in its personnel?
From the nineties till the beginning of the 21st century cultural diversity
used to be an important theme in Dutch cultural policy: different migrants groups were traced, mapped and projects were started with the ultimate goal to create the feeling of a shared heritage and to secure memories and traditions. Museums had to revise their acquisition policies, their position in society and their categories.
In the beginning, the Dutch Government was rather sceptical about the UNESCO Convention, especially regarding ‘revitalisation’, i.e. active protection. In the end, the positive advice by the National UNESCO Commission and the
cultural sector led to the ratification in parliament.
But in the aftermath of the murder on the politician Pim Fortuyn (2002) and documentary maker Theo van Gogh (2004) social cohesion, national identity and historical consciousness were thrown on the political agenda at the expense of cultural diversity: minorities had to integrate in the general ‘inclusive’ culture policy and specific instruments or organizations were deemed no
longer necessary. But the members of parliament prevailed in considering the UNESCO Convention to be an instrument for social cohesion and national / regional identity in a culturally diverse environment. The Convention may even function as a platform in the debate as regards Black Pete, an actor in the Sinterklaas festival in the Netherlands as well as a (controversial) item of intangible heritage.

ALBERT VAN DER ZEIJDEN, Diversiteit, hybriditeit en de Nationale Inventaris
Immaterieel Cultureel Erfgoed in Nederland

Summary: Diversity, Hybridism and the National Inventory of Intangible
Cultural Heritage in the Netherlands
The UNESCO wants to safeguard cultural diversity worldwide. But what can be said about the emerging ethnic diversity as a result of the migration into Western Europe, specifically in the Netherlands? What is the repercussion on the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)?
Intangible heritage implies not only a connection with the new urban youth
cultures and the new ethnic groups but it also aims at a geographically
balanced distribution. The impression is that this new ethnic diversity is
concentrated in the urbanized west of the Netherlands. West-Kruiskade, a city district in Rotterdam, is well known for its 170 odd different ethnical groups. It might be a test case from the perspective of the UNESCO
The Arabic dye ‘henna’ figures on the Dutch National Inventory and is a good item in the discussion. We know from the nomination file that Fatima Oulad Thame is a Moroccan henna artist now living and working in Rotterdam. She explores the Moroccan tradition of henna painting but also includes Indian ones. She also uses henna techniques to ecorate Christmas trinkets. She likes
the cultural mix because she aims at a generalized interest in her form
of art. Her work can be interpreted as hybridism that tends towards a “global mélange”, as coined by the Dutch anthropologist Jan Nederveen Pieterse.
The UNESCO Convention warns against a process of globalization that might cause “deterioration, disappearance and destruction of the intangible cultural heritage”. But the author is less pessimistic and interprets it as a useful incentive to attain sustainable development of ICH. He refers to Homi K. Bhabha and Peter Burke, influential thinkers of hybridism, who rather see it as a process of “evolving dynamics of creativity in plural societies”.
Therefore, hybridism and globalization need a new research agenda because a lot of questions remain unanswered. Questions dealing with traditions which no longer have the same obvious historical and local context, questions about identity, inclusion and exclusion, etc.

JASMIJN RANA, Taalcultuur in de superdiverse stad: over straattaal als immaterieel erfgoed

Summary: Languaculture in the Superdiverse City – ‘Street-language’ as Intangible Heritage
Urban youth constantly produce and reproduce forms of community. ‘Belonging’ consists of subjective feelings of inclusion, engagement and emotional attachment. Both ‘what you are’ and ‘what you do’ matter. ‘We’ is thereby not defined in terms of stable national, ethnic, social or religious identities, but has a more diverse character. To understand the diverse character of present-day living together in cities it is helpful to address intangible heritage form the paradigm of superdiversity.
A focus on superdiversity offers space for more diversification in heritage
policies. It specifically addresses the phenomenon of ‘street-language’ as
intangible heritage that is carried by urban youth from different social,
ethnic and geographical backgrounds. They find communality in an urban
culture that is expressed in, among other things, language practices.
‘Street-language’ eludes canonizing measures that dialects have to deal
with, which keeps the intangibility and dynamics intact. The paradigm of
superdiversity offers tools to study and analyse the continuities and changes
of ‘street-language’.

Omgaan met diversiteit in de ateliers van Zinneke Parade

Summary: The Sense of a Parade Dealing with Diversity in Artistic Workshops of the Zinneke Parade
The participants of this community arts project are a mix of European expats, local inhabitants, (il) literate migrants as well as primary school children and young Belgian professionals. They work together to create a performance in The Zinneke Parade, a community arts project in Brussels. Their focus is on parade movements, choreographies, as well as the making of costumes, hats and floats.
In this article four scenes are dealt with. They focus on the socio-material
connections in the workshops. While preparing their performance the participants focus on the direct relationship / engagement between objects and bodies and give form to a common world.

CATHARINE WILLEMS, Nuvtthohat perfect for feet! – Shoe design as cultural heritage

Summier: Nuvtthohat, de ideale schoen Schoenontwerp als cultureel erfgoed
De Saami, een inheemse bevolkingsgroep in de noordelijke delen van Noorwegen, Zweden, Finland en het noordwesten van Rusland (ook bekend als Sápmi) gebruiken de nuvttohat tijdens de winter. Nuvttohat zijn laarzen gemaakt uit rendierbont. De handgemaakte laarzen zorgen voor de ultieme bescherming van
de voet en worden op een duurzame manier geproduceerd. Het hier beschreven design-project heeft als doel om samen met lokale ambachtslui laarzen voor een andere omgeving te creëren. Hierbij stellen we vragen over hoe het proces van maken kennis creëert (inclusief materieel en immaterieel cultureel
erfgoed). Het maken van de nuvttohat wordt geduid in de context van de
overdracht van vaardigheden (als een vorm van immaterieel cultureel
erfgoed) en het leren van persoon tot persoon, van de ene generatie op de
andere. Nuvttohat zijn een onderdeel van de immateriële culturele expressie
van de Saami. Wat betekent het voor ontwerponderzoekers die geen deel uitmaken van de inheemse Saamigemeenschap om de rendierlaarzen – die deel uitmaken van het culturele erfgoed van de Saami – te recreëren? Het artikel beschrijft de spanning tussen het in leven houden van een traditie en tegelijk
respect hebben voor diversiteit en het open staan voor invloeden van binnen
en buiten de gemeenschap. Tot slot formuleert het mogelijke manieren
van omgaan met (im)materieel cultureel erfgoed.
Het artikel kadert in een breder doctoraal onderzoek Future Footwear. In
dit academisch-artistieke doctoraatsproject brengt Catherine Willems drie
disciplines samen, met name ontwerp, antropologie en biomechanica.
Het project gaat na of traditioneel schoeisel als voorbeeld kan dienen
voor ontwerpen die biomechanische en culturele functies met elkaar
in evenwicht brengen. De vragen gaan over materialen en vormen, de
betekenis van design, de effecten van stappen met en zonder schoeisel, en
de verschillen tussen werken met de hand en handwerktuigen enerzijds en semi-industriële en 3D-productie anderzijds. Het onderzoek spitst zich toe op Saami laarzen uit rendierbont uit de poolgebieden, Juttee-schoeisel uit Rajasthan, en Kolhapuri- en Bantuschoeisel uit Karnataka (Indië), en ook op de handwerkers die dit maken. De biomechanische analyses uit het onderzoek geven aan dat dit inheemse schoeisel de natuurlijke vorm van de voet respecteert en die zo minder beperkt dan de conventionele westerse schoen doet. In de onderzochte gemeenschappen wordt dit type van schoeisel vaak gedragen in het dagelijkse leven. De productie ligt laag en is afgestemd op de nood, en het ontwerp verandert geleidelijk over verschillende generaties heen. Dit project toont aan dat designers baat kunnen vinden bij interdisciplinair onderzoek, dat traditionele ambachten en biomechanische stapanalyses combineert met industriële en hightechproductiemethoden om nieuwe modellen te creëren. De noodzaak hiertoe wordt duidelijk in het licht van een groeiende schoenenafvalberg, en toenemende schaarste aan natuurlijke
grondstoffen. Om tot een duurzame (schoen-)economie te komen, moeten we verdere stappen zetten in de hybride economieën die de conventionele markt verbinden met andere vormen van maken, waarin ontwerpers en producenten samen
nadenken over nieuwe technologieën en materialen.

ANNE MARIEKE VAN DER WAL, Decolonising South Africa’s Heritage Landscape? A dialogical Approch to Heritage Conservation and Intagible Cultural Heritage in Stellenbosch

Summier: Het Zuid-Afrikaanse erfgoedlandschap dekoloniseren?
Een dialogische benadering ten opzichte van erfgoedbewaring en immaterieel cultureel erfgoed in Stellenbosch
Erfgoed wordt in de multiculturele ‘rainbow nation’ Zuid-Afrika benaderd
als een middel om de verschillende culturen en gemeenschappen te
verbinden en te verzoenen. Het erfgoedlandschap wordt vanwege vele jaren van blanke onderdrukking echter nog steeds gedomineerd door materieel, koloniaal erfgoed, bijvoorbeeld in de vorm van monumentale koloniale gebouwen en
standbeelden van koloniale heersers. Maar sinds de democratische
omwenteling in 1994 is de nadruk vooral komen te liggen op het behoud van immaterieel cultureel erfgoed van de voorheen gemarginaliseerde
gemeenschappen. Deze nieuwe focus vraagt ook om een nieuwe aanpak van
erfgoedmanagement, bijvoorbeeld door de actieve participatie van lokale gemeenschappen in het identificeren en beschermen van hun erfgoed. Door middel van een zogenaamde ‘dialogische benadering’ van erfgoedmanagement, oftewel een aanpak gekarakteriseerd door inspraak en overleg tussen
erfgoedprofessionals en lokale belanghebbenden, hoopt Zuid-Afrika zijn erfgoedlandschap drastisch te moderniseren en te democratiseren zodat het een ware bespiegeling wordt van de postkoloniale situatie. Critici vragen zich echter af in hoeverre dit beleid werkelijk heeft geleid tot een inclusieve en democratische erfgoedsector. En in hoeverre betekent deze focusverandering werkelijk een doorbraak in het klassieke denken over erfgoed, i.e. oud
materieel/monumentaal erfgoed (Europees) versus immaterieel jong erfgoed (Afrikaans) en dus een dekolonisatie van het erfgoedlandschap?
Enkele concrete voorbeelden van erfgoedprojecten in Stellenbosch zoals het Solms-Delta Cape Music project en het Cloetesville mondelinge geschiedenis tour project illustreren juist de effectiviteit en het baanbrekende van de ‘dialogische aanpak’. In deze stad, gedomineerd door koloniaal monumentaal erfgoed, heeft de ‘dialogische aanpak’ niet alleen geleid tot het zichtbaarder
maken en beschermen van immaterieel erfgoed van voorheen gemarginaliseerde
gemeenschappen zoals de zogenaamde ‘Kaapse kleurlingen’, maar het betekende ook een economische en sociale ondersteuning van deze gemeenschap. De
veronderstelde inherente scheiding tussen materieel en immaterieel erfgoed bleek in de praktijk minder duidelijk aanwezig. Juist de samenhang tussen het materiële en het immateriële wordt veelal benadrukt, bijvoorbeeld door het
koloniaal monumentale als platform of theater te benaderen waar bepaalde herinneringen en rituelen zich hebben ontwikkeld en worden (her)beleefd. Op deze manier is het erfgoedlandschap van Stellenbosch niet alleen kleurrijker geworden, maar ook meer dimensionaal.

ALEX VAN STRIPIAAN, Trots op Nederland – De klacht van mentaal erfgoed

Summary: Proud of Being DutchThe Power of Mental Heritage
Nowadays many people cling to what they consider their (threatened)
national cultural heritage and thereby immobilize the dynamics of history and heritage. Their selection of particular items as their cultural heritage is steered by what the author defines as ‘mental heritage’, i.e. an inherited, encompassing discourse that makes self-criticism almost impossible.
Three current debates are referred to: slave-trade (Afro-Dutch heritage?),
Zwarte Piet, Saint Nicholas’ blackfaced servant (Dutch heritage?) and
freedom of expression (Je suis Charlie: Dutch vs. non-Dutch heritage?). The
common element of these types of cultural heritage is the question: how
in-/exclusive are preconceptions? The author’s conclusion is that they are contested particularly because the accompanying mental heritage is not
congruent anymore with the group of inheritors. They have become superdiverse. National heritage is not inclusive anymore because the nation
has become diverse. ‘Mental heritage’ leads to a faulty reasoning, e.g. ‘we have always been a tolerant nation, therefore we cannot be racists’ or ‘we cherish total freedom of expression, and therefore anything can be said’. Consequently ‘mental heritage’ is to be adapted to the new context. It is a slow process, which in the end must lead to a more inclusive nation.

RIK PINXTEN, Immaterieel Erfgoed tussen identiteit en interculturaliteit

Summary: Intangible Heritage between Identity and Interculturality
The UNESCO Convention aims at protecting vulnerable cultural traditions. But we often witness a strong tendency towards the recognition of identity-driven
interpretations of folk culture. This attitude should be critically
assessed by comparing ideas and approaches in this particular field with those in other domains, e.g. text and text hermeneutics vs. the study of dance and music. Selfcriticism should surpass the present ‘musealisation’ and fundamentalism. An analysis of subsidy policies and their effects is much needed too.

KRIS RUTTEN en GERT BIESTA, Van verleden naar toekomst. Democratie, diversiteit en cultureel erfgoed-in-wording

Summary: From Past to Future Democracy, Diversity and Evolutive
Cultural Heritage
The central ambition of the Horizon 2020 call REFLECTIVE-2-2015:
Emergence and Transmission of European Culture Heritage and Europeanization is
to explore the potential of (intangible) cultural heritage in overcoming the
current EU crisis. The European crisis is viewed as one of democracy, i.e.
Europe’s ‘democratic project’ has come under pressure and its democratic
future is at stake. This article is a critical analysis of the role of cultural heritage transmission in creating a common European identity.
In what ways (and to what extent) can intangible cultural heritage
contribute to organise, promote and enhance support for Europe’s
‘democratic project’? In what ways can identification with the values
of liberty, equality and solidarity be encouraged? These questions are not
dealt with a restricted reference to the past. The authors also look forward.

Category: 2015


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K. DE LEEUW, Hoebloot (niet) bedekt werd

Summary:Roman catholic Repression of immoral Ways of Clothing (Tilburg, 1914-1970)

In 1914 Pius X and the Roman Catholic Church launched an attack against modern women’s indecent clothing: short sleeves and skirts, low necklines, trousers, transparent or fleshcolored fabrics, etc. Modern fashion was considered to lead to improper sexual relations, to handicap a mother’s educational role and to diminish faith. Therefore a set of rules was made and implemented.
Tilburg is a city in the south of the Netherlands and used to have over 95 percent Catholics. Did all citizens follow these rules? To answer this question research was done in the three local Catholic newspapers. They proved to differ considerably in covering the issue and in censoring indecent drawings in advertisements and in fashion columns. Their position varied from docile to liberal.
Two chastity associations were created in the hope to mobilize an antiindecency army. But they never attracted more than nine percent of the Catholics. They turned out to be paper tigers. Some faithful obediently followed the rules, from conviction. But the majority did so submissively, afraid of being excluded from school and church. And nobody wanted to end up as a laughingstock or gossiptarget in the Catholic community.
But there were loopholes. The rules were ingeniously stretched as far as possible, e.g. low necklines were covered with shawls or jackets when going to church. Openly confronting the religious authorities was rather rare, but occurred. Some mothers threat- ened to send their child to a public school, when the clothes were not accepted.
Research has proved that the Roman Catholics in Tilburg have not always been not a perfectly homogeneous, ruleabiding flock. Since 1914 the number of dissidents has steadily grown and by 1970 clothing was matter of personal conscience.

W. DE BLECOURT, Eenmalige verhalen in Vlaanderen

Summary:Unique stories in Flanders
On the Classification of Fairy Tales

Most of the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century orally collected fairy tales contain one or two texts that are considered unique, either in their country or in their language. Folklorists (who typically emphasize multiple existence, doublets and variations) rate these texts rather as anomalies which make cataloguing rather problematic.
In his optimistic revision of The Types of the Folktale (1961) Thompson tried to solve this conundrum by adding extra type numbers. On the other hand Uther (The Types of International Folktales, 2004) simply left them out, although the original texts do exist. Based on De Meyer’s catalogue Le conte populaire Flamand (1968), forty one-variant types fit in the Tales of Magic range, i.e. in almost one third of the Tales of Magic types (300-750).
The authors have solved the anomaly of these texts by linking them to existing, mainly printed, stories and by valuing them as adaptations, corruptions, combinations or residues.
Some peculiar findings are worth mentioning, ranging from a new version of Goethe’s Erlkönig to several Straparola tales or from copying a Russian tale to mixing pieces of the Grimms’ Kinder- und Hausmärchen into a narrative. Above all, stories of the Arabian Nights proved popular with the Flemish.
Among the forty texts examined there was hardly any genuinely new material. This can prove that they constituted the end of a tradition (which was by no means exclusively oral) rather than marking the beginning of a new era.
Although more research needs to be done, a new kind of fairy-tale catalogue is feasible, with printed texts as its starting point. Unique stories can thus be assigned to their rightful place instead of simply being ignored.

Category: 2015, Summaries


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BRITT DENIS, Home sweet home?! = Publiek en privaat onder de loep in negentiende-eeuws Antwerpen (1880)
Summary: Home, sweet Home?! The Public and Private Element in Domestic Culture (Antwerp, 1880)
Contrary to the strong Anglo-Saxon tradition that predominantly draws
on normative sources to study the middle class home and domestic
culture, the focus is here on a broader socio-professional group. Based on
a sample of official inventories, the analysis charts the domestic interiors
in Antwerp in ‘the age of domesticity’ and sheds a light on some nuances
and contradictions regarding the public/private doctrine. The singularity of the home in Antwerp is to be taken into account. The urban context determined the margin for negotiating the domestic ideal when dividing and using the available space. Against the background of a rapidly changing society, a cosy home offered consolation and refuge. Domesticity became a synonym for (illusive) privacy, because the decoration of the frontstage parlor and the dining room reveals that these rooms were intended not only as home comfort but also as representation. The lower middle-class had to be creative since the separation of the workplace from the household was often impossible. Social class, status and gender played a role as regards domesticity.

GEERT BUELENS, En redders zult gij zijn van heel het Vaderland”

Summary: ‘Saviours you will be of the Whole Fatherland!’ Remembrance of the First World War as a Flemish, Belgian and International Affair (1914-2014)
This article analyses a wide variety of cultural artefacts that in the past
century have been shaped by poets and other cultural agents. From the beginning of the Great War most Belgians only wanted to get rid of the Germans and to restore national sovereignty. The war became an outright struggle for the survival of Belgium and this fact united the (Dutch speaking) Flemish and the (French speaking) Walloons against the common enemy. But, as the war dragged on, Flemish civilians in the occupied territories (as well as in neutral Holland) and an influential contingent of soldiers at the front started to see the war as a purely inner-Belgian conflict which (hopefully) would ultimately lead to Flemish independence. Thus, the war deepened political and cultural divisions in Belgium, leading to the emergence of a Flemish nationalist party at the first post-war elections (1919). From the twenties onwards Flemish filmmakers, novelists, poets and journalists were instrumental in promoting this vision on the
Great War. But when the Cold War drew to an end, a few Flemish novelists, e.g. Hugo Claus and Tom Lanoye, began criticizing the old view. They disagreed with the way ‘Flemish radicals and fascists’ had appropriated the Great War. The idea that the First World War was a global conflict has prevailed ever since. This international orientation has also inspired many centenary activities. Nevertheless, the focus seems to have shifted lately from critical self-analysis to ‘peace tourism’, to the multifaceted war experience of ‘Flanders Fields’ and to the political balance of power in the new federal Belgium.

JAN VERRIET, ‘Een ongevaarlijk avontuur’

Summary: ‘A Safe Adventure’
Foreign Cuisine as mediated in the Netherlands, 1950-1970 In the post-war decades ‘foreign’ foods and international cooking became a new trend in the Netherlands. The role of the mediators has however hardly been examined, even though their subtle negotiation between housewives and producers formed a consistent plea for cultural change. Therefore this paper offers a muchneeded closer look into the definitive birth of one of the biggest food trends of the twentieth century. In order to Netherlands at that time it zooms in on the magazine-factor: magazines as the most significant mediators of food choice in the 1950s and 1960s. The cultural significance of the (gradual) changes is explained by means of a systematic survey of the patterns found in recipes and advertisements. They are coded and subjected to a close reading to generate both quantitative and qualitative data. In this way a complex dual strategy in the representation of ‘foreign’ food is revealed. The mediators presented ‘foreign’ food as strange to render it more exciting, but kept some of its aspects more recognizable to keep these ‘foreign’ products and recipes accessible. Surprisingly, these commentators were not naive about the complexity of the new cuisine during this crucial phase in the globalization of cooking. Instead of focusing on authenticity, however, they took a pragmatic approach in presenting the new ingredients as ‘a safe adventure’. The mediators’ awareness and deliberate use of language and images played a significant role in appreciating the new food.

Category: 2015