Category Archives: 2016

3/2016

K. DE GRAEVE, Adoptiefeesten, cultuur, liefdadigheid en gemeenschapsvorming bij Vlaams-Ethische adoptiegezinnen

Summary: Adoption feast 
Culture, Charity and Community Building in Flemish-Ethiopian Adoptive Families
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews, this article analyses festive gatherings of Flemish parents with children adopted from Ethiopia as sites for community building, charity work and culture work. On the one hand, it reads the festive gatherings as ways of celebrating the non-normativity of adoptive families
and ways of aiming to contribute to a more inclusive citizenship. It argues that the adoptive parents’ organizations and gatherings can be seen as “intimacy groups” developing their own visible and positive cultures that can leak into broader public spheres and have the capacity to enhance the public recognition and normalization
of adoptive families in society at large. On the other hand, the article points to the risks of reifying and reproducing difference and inequality. It points to the problematic
entanglement of the festivities (and of adoption) with narratives of philanthropy and rescue, which risks to reinforce a neocolonialist imagery of white people saving black people.It also interrogates the way in which the parents’ “culture work” connects the black children to an alleged “birth culture” of which they often have no memories, a practice that seems to be motivated by essentialist discourses of race, identity and culture, and fits within a discourse that lacks a critical awareness of power inequalities and white privilege.

K. HANNES, H. VOETS, J. LEYSEN, P. VERSTRAETE, Circus als een artistiek en pedagogisch project – Een historische kijk op de totstandkoming van het Vlaamse Circusdecreet

Summary: Circus as an artistic and pedagogical project – A historic perspective on the development of the Flemish Circus decree
In 2008, the then appointed Flemish Minister for culture launched the Circus decree that regulates and finances both the artistic and educational component of the Flemish circus movement. It was preceded by intense discussions between policy makers and
actors from the artistic-pedagogical angle of the Flemish circus movement, addressing the role and educational functions of circus in our contemporary society. In this article we will describe a number of trends that have affected the current content and form of the Circus Decree. Our historical analysis is based on an in-depth study of the iterature, supplemented by insights from policy documents. We also selected three core stakeholders that were involved in creating the draft versions of the Decree for an interview, to fill in the knowledge gaps and increase our understanding of the process. Our study is guided by the following questions: (a) what was the reason for regulating the Flemish circus movement?; (b) what specific actions were undertaken in the runup
to the Circus Decree?; (c) to which structure and culture of financing the sector has the Decree eventually led? We also critically reflect on the question whether or not the Circus Decree has achieved its mission to support the Flemish circus movement as an
art and educational project.

Y. BOUSSAID, B. BOOM, Het “Broekzakarchied” – Delen is het nieuwe bewaren

Summary: Pocketarchive – Sharing is the new way of saving
This essay discusses the smartphone with its advanced applications as a ‘pocketarchive’. The term ‘pocketarchive’ was first introduced at Imagine
IC during the participatory gathering of the collection of the exhibition
‘Let’s Party’. This article considers the ‘pocketarchive’ as a documentation of
modern cultural intangible heritage. Primarily the users of the pocketarchive
are adolescents. They are the main generators of modern intangible heritage. Besides creating and ‘doing’ intangible heritage, they also collect the so called rituals, via
audio-, video- and tex-documentation. In the first place they are doing so because the  specific ritual has a personal significance to them. But mostly collected items are meant to be shared via social media. Although adolescents share their collections. it has to be noted that not every item is meant to be shared, adolescents seem to make a strict distinction between private, and public material. By collecting and sharing items adolescents build up a dynamic, global accessible archive. Shared items are being saved in pocketarchives all over the world. Considering this dynamic process of data-sharing as modern ways of saving it comes clear that sharing is the new way of saving.
In traditional archives the actuary is responsible for the selection of the collection, and making it accessible for open public. Users of the pocketarchive have replaced the actuary and have become the curators of their own archives. These developments lead to new questions about preserving archives and making them accessible.

L. DEPAUW, L. MESSIAEN, E. SEGERS, Feesten op de Inventaris Vlaanderen voor Immaterieel Cultureel Erfgoed – Reflecties uit de praktijk

Summary: Festive Events on the Inventory for Intangible Cultural Heritage in
Flanders – Reflections from the Field
This article discusses the evolution of the procedure of inscription of elements on the Inventory for Intangible Cultural Heritage in Flanders (Flemish Inventory). In 2006, Belgium ratified UNESCO’s Convention on Intangible Heritage. In 2008, the Flemish
Inventory was launched. LECA used the time between the ratification and the launch of the inventory to empower the practitioners of public events, processions, carnivals, parades and the like. As a result, many of these groups were ready to inscribe their tradition on the Flemish Inventory in 2008, which explains the current dominance of festive events. In the years that followed, the procedure became more strict in an attempt to preserve the spirit of the 2003 UNESCO convention. However, not all
communities benefit equally from the current policy. For some communities it is too high of a threshold to work over a year on a nomination. As a result, the Flemish Inventory consists of very traditional elements, that have been named as ‘typically Flemish’ for decades. While the Flemish society is evolving into a super divers society,
the Flemish Inventory reflects a false sense of uniformity and some would even argue nostalgia. Therefore, LECA proposes to simplify the nomination procedure for the Flemish Inventory and to introduce an additional List of Best Practices for those communities who want to play an exemplary role.

S. VAN OOSTVEEN, Feest tussen gemeenschap en gemeente – De noodzaak van een goede samenwerking

Summary: Feasts between community and city council The necessity of good cooperation. This article argues a good relation between ICH community and unicipality is of vital importance for the safeguarding of festive events and celebrations. A big part of the Dutch National Inventory of Intangible ultural Heritage consists of celebrations and festive events: 38 of the almost 100 elements on it can be placed in this domain. The Dutch Centre for Intangible Heritage has been appointed to be the competent body coordinating and composing the national inventory. In the Netherlands, the ICH communities draw up their own safeguarding plans with the help of the ICH consultants. Here, the most mentioned bottlenecks by the festive events are laws and regulations of all kinds: security, crowd management,
health and safety manners, environmental laws and regulations concerning building locations for example. In many cases the communities and municipalities record their agreements in security plans and covenants. Many communities feel the pressure
to grow bigger and bigger. But in many cases the bigger events get, the more rules, laws and regulations apply. Municipalities are in the end responsible for the safety of all people present. They decide to grant a permit for the event concerned or not. But intangible heritage and especially celebrations have also got a lot to offer a municipality, like a strong and social community, with a clear view on the future of their ICH. ICH connects people, it is beneficial for the local economy, it may attracts tourists and is a perfect way for a mayor to connect to the inhabitants.

D. M. DE TURCK, Serving Masters – An AnthropolContemporary Processions in Honour of Eligius

Samenvatting: Dienende meesters Een antropologisch perspectief over
de uitvinding, heruitvinding en het ontzien van tradities in hedendaagse processies ter ere van de Heilige Eligius
‘Deze bijdrage is een bondige etnografisch-historiografische analyse van de hedendaagse processies ter ere van de Heilige Eligius, die door leken georganiseerd worden in Béthune,Parijs en Bouillon. De etnografischantropologische beschrijvingen van de processies worden zowel theoretisch geïnterpreteerd als door de deelnemers individueel verklaard. De processies worden gelinkt aan de oermythe van de heilige zoals deze te vinden is in de Vaticaanse bibliotheek. Het artikel is geschreven rond enkele van de meest in het oog springende invullingen die gegeven worden aan de heilige. Vooreerst wordt de rol van Eligius als eerlijke goudsmid en zijn functie als
patroonheilige van metaalbewerkers behandeld aan de hand van de Société Royale Ouvrière St Eloi de Bouillon, met vervolgens een korte beschrijving van het spatiale aspect van de processie te Bouillon. In een tweede hoofdstuk komt de interpretatie van Eligius als geldslager aan bod en hoe deze symboliek ingevuld is door de Doyen van
het Parijse broederschap Confrèrie de Saint Eloi à Paris. De motivering van de Doyen die het broederschap oprichtte en de symboliek van Eligius heruitvond wordt uitgebreid onder de loep genomen en theoretisch geanalyseerd. Aansluitend komt Eligius als
Charitable aan bod. De liefdadigheid van de heilige en de communitas die dit inspireren is ontleed aan de hand van enkele zeventiende-eeuwse broederschappen in Nederland, aangevuld met de hedendaagse interpretatie van hetzelfde ritueel. Als aatste komt het mirakel van Eligius aan bod, dat herdacht wordt door de broederschappen van Béthune en Beuvry: met speciale aandacht voor de belevingen van de Confrèrie des Charitables de Béthune en hoe dit broederschap caritas toepast
sinds 1188 door het processioneel begraven van doden. Het artikel probeert de lezer mee te voeren naar de wereld van broederschappen en processies en de individuele
motiveringen van de broeders die hiervan deel uitmaken en als leken eeuwenoude christelijke tradities vandaag de dag levend houden.

J. WILLEMSEN, Een lokale identiteit met vreemde gezichten – De Brielse Maskarade tussen 1927 en 1969

Summary: A Local Identity with Strange Faces
The Brielle Masquerade between 1927 and 1969
On January 26, 2016, the Dutch Centre for Popular Culture and Intangible Heritage presented the inhabitants of the city of Brielle with a certificate, stating that the “Brielle Masquerade”had become part of the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Like many European local festivities, the masquerade is regarded to play a vital role in the construction and representation of a local identity.This article shows that this was indeed the case in the period 1927-1969, but that there was also a striking dissimilarity
in comparison to other local festivities in the Netherlands. At first, market-oriented thinking and the urge to civilize the population, were the main driving forces behind the masquerade. In time, the festival turned out to be suitable for reinforcing social cohesion and to express the local balance of power.These features are not unique to Brielle, but characterize local festivals throughout Europe. However, unlike similar festivals in other Dutch villages, the Brielle masquerade made no clear distinction between local people and outsiders: organizers, participants and the local press highlighted the typical local character of the festival, but were enthusiastic about the
presence of large numbers of visitors as well. The Brielle case shows that localism does not necessarily have to be an inward directed and xenophobic phenomenon, but can also willingly be opened to outsiders.

M. VERDIJK, D. HOEBINK, Paarden, vrijgezellen en gender – Traditie en vernieuwing in de Boxmeerse Metworstrennen

Summary: Horses, Bachelors and Gender – Tradition and Renewal in the Boxmeer ‘Sausage races’ This essay explores how the relationship
between the continuity and dynamics of a tradition manifests itself in a local Dutch tradition called the “Metworstrennen” (Sausage races). Localised at the Dutch town of Boxmeer, the “Metworstrennen” is a tradition that takes place during the carnaval celebrations. Its main part is a horse race in which only male bachelors, born and raised in Boxmeer, may take part, as prescribed by its myth of origin. Although the races are still very popular in Boxmeer and its surroundings, the number of participants
has been slowly decreasing in the last decades. Throughout its history the meaning
and purpose of the “Metworstrennen” have been adapted to new developments
in society, which explains its success. What once started as a fertility rite de passage transformed into a political satire in the 19th century, which, on its turn, evolved into the
semi-professional sporting event we know today. Smaller adaptations, like extra protective measures, have been included as well. Letting female bachelors compete in the races would be the necessary next step, in order to keep the “Metworstrennen” a living and socially representative tradition. This statement is backed up by the
argument that nowadays bachelorhood is as much a female as a male phenomenon. Female participation would be a confirmation of the new social freedom many women enjoy nowadays.

Category: 2016

2/2016

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AD DE JONG, Museale passie en Europees idealisme – De jonge jaren van het Verbond van Europese Openluchtmusea 1966-1972
Summary: A Passion for Museums and for Europe – The early years of the Association of European Open-Air Museums (1966–1972)
Anyone who frequently attends the conferences of the Association of European
Open-Air Museums (AEOM) will eventually begin to wonder how this
organization of enthusiastic directors and staff members of open-air museums
came about and why certain matters are the way they are. Why did museums, which are in fact rooted in a particular country or a particular region, seek contacts on a European level? What did they have in common with each other, so that a need arose for experiences to be shared beyond national borders? With this we could also pose the question as to why that need did not arise any earlier than in 1966. The large number of new open-air museums
since mid 1950s, particularly in the German-speaking region, gave rise
to a growing need for an exchange of ideas on methods to be used. By no longer allowing the search for that which is characteristically national
to be the motive for a cultivation of folklore, the eyes of many
European open-air museums were opened to a history of many interactions
and influences in the culture of everyday European life, which went
beyond national borders. Many members of the Association cherished the
idea that they were all one European family and that, with their national
and regional open-air museums, they were in fact creating the components
of a collective European open-air museum.

GERTJAN WILLEMS, van cultureel verantwoorde naar plezante films – De heropleving van populaire komedies in de jaren tachtig en de rol van het Vlaamse filmbeleid

Summary: From culturally respectable to pleasant films. – The revival of popular comedies in the 1980s and the role of Flemish film policy
This article shows that the official film production policy in Flanders
played an important role in the revival of the genre of Flemish popular
comedies in the eighties. When a film support system was installed in 1964,
the cultural dimension of films, in the sense of their artistic and intellectual
qualities, was dominating the policy discourse and practices. In 1981, after
years of Christian Democratic domination, the Ministry of Culture, and
thus the film policy, was taken over by the Liberals. After a dispute between
the new minister and the old film commission (which advised the minister
on the allocation of government grants to film projects), the latter was
fired and replaced. The replacements of important policy actors marked a
shift in the development of Flemish film policy. Audience-oriented and
commercial-economic motivations became more important, which was
manifested in the support for popular comedies. While the Liberal ministers
were outright supporters of popular comedies, the film commission was more nuanced toward such projects. For the most part, the commission
found the quality standards of the popular comedies insufficient. On the
other hand, these film projects raised economic arguments on the continuity
of film production and attracting private investments, important elements
in creating a stronger Flemish film industry. Moreover, attracting a large audience was a decisive argument.
Connected to this argument, there was a broadening of the vision on what is culturally valuable and thus deserves government support. In addition to artistic and qualitative elements, the entertainment value of the films and the viewing pleasure of the audience were also taken into consideration, which weakened the earlier aversion to popular culture. The popular comedies show that from the eighties on, not only culturally respectable films, but also amusement films without much artistic or intellectual ambitions were deemed worthy to be supported by the government

PAULINE VAN DER ZEE, Hoe museale tradities immateriële cultuur buiten sloten en waarom ze gemist wordt – Musea en context

Summary: How museum traditions locked out immaterial culture, and why it is
hard to do without – Museums and context
This essay focuses on the original connection between art, storytelling and
ritual; a relation that got lost when objects entered the museum. According
to evolutionary research art, storytelling and ritual came into being at the same time. Art then was probably religious. But things changed when
richer people started to collect art and developed cabinets of curiosities as
a synthesis of science of that period. Due to this, objects lost their context
of daily use, but obtained a superior cultural status. This was the start of
the lack of interest for the context of objects. Now the aesthetic experience
became the base of their valuation. And aestheticism was seen as a question
of good taste, free from personal preferences. Gradually cabinets of
curiosities grew into museums, and aestheticism was received with open
arms, but lacking interest for context for a very long time.
Nowadays museums pay more attention to ‘experience’. As a consequence
the actual museum is no longer a place of aesthetic contemplation but a
scene of interactive reflection. Museums as keepers of the memory of others
hold all the cards to bring visitors in contact with peoples and cultures
far away in time or distance. Every museum is a museum of the fellow
man. Perhaps therefore it may be time for museums of world cultures to concentrate on the aspect of perception, to call back stories as well as rituals
to provide objects again with a meaningful context. Such approach could
contribute to more openness towards other cultures. Museums of world
cultures nowadays invite members of producing communities who add new
explanations. They introduce personal stories and rituals adapted to the
museum space. They help to restore the initial relationship between material
and immaterial culture within the museum walls. And so they open the
door to gain insight in the complexity of this world in which we all live together.

 

 

 

Category: 2016

1/2016

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KARLA VANRAEPENBUSCH en ANNE-MIE HAVERMANS, Omgaan met het erfgoed van de vijand – Duitse WO1-monumenten op stedelijke begraafplaatsen in bezet België

Summary: Dealing with the heritage of the enemy – German First World War monuments on city cemeteries in occupied Belgium
During the First World War the Germans commemorated their fallen soldiers
with monuments in the communal cemeteries in the front region as well as in the occupied country, e.g. in Evere (Brussels), Schoonselhof (Antwerp) and
Robermont (Liège). The Germans built these monuments irrespective of any
permission.
It is worth examining how the above mentioned city councils responded to
this encroachment on their municipal rights during the war and what
happened afterwards with the enemy’s monumental war heritage. For the last
century these German monuments have led to more conflict and discussion than quiet commemoration. Moreover, the political and economic context in both countries has determined the way the old rivals accepted, denied or even
challenged each other’s war memory.

EVERT VANDEWEGHE, Van “Klein Rusland” (1925) tot “‘t Smurfendorp” (1985) – Volksnamen voor sociale wijken in Vlaanderen

Summary: From “Little Russia” (1925) to “Smurfs’ Village” (1984): Nicknames for housing-estates in Flanders
Social housing was one of the most important realizations of the 20thcentury welfare state. This materialized in hundreds of thousands of new houses, primarily in working-class neighbourhoods. However, because of their architectural, functional and social uniformity these housing projects often were too conspicuous in the fragmented and crowded landscape of Flanders.
This alienated the new inhabitants from the old ones living near the settlement who resented this top down housing policy. They voiced their resentment by giving nicknames.
A few hundreds names were retrieved in a broader study on the heritage value of social housing in Flanders between 1919 and 1985. And they sometimes were/
are so blatantly condescending that social housing companies (have) tried
to get rid of them. But some tenants and owners of these houses are not to
be considered as passive subjects by the outsiders. Therefore they value the
nickname and perceive the verbal abuse as a way of empowerment. Insight in the
atypical characteristics and problems of the chosen architectural and urban
concepts offers an interesting starting point for an alternative, critical reading of an important episode in 20th-century architecture and urban planning.

ROBIN VERMEULEN, Graffiti in Amsterdam – De vergankelijkheid van een eigentijdse cultuur

Summary: Graffiti in Amsterdam: the transient nature of a contemporary phenomenon
Graffiti is an important phenomenon, which many Amsterdam graffiti artists
and admirers want to preserve. But the first study in the field of durable graffiti preservation in The Netherlands has not yet been written. The artists as well as the formal heritage institutions can help each other, but the graffiti scene is not so fond of official institutions which (allegedly) try to intervene by incorporating graffiti into their institutioneel framework.
This essay, based on research and interviews, enables the author to conclude that the graffiti scene itself should ultimately be responsible for documenting the ephemeral phenomenon of texts and designs, regardless of formal heritage frameworks. All parties concerned recommend a new graffiti archive in Amsterdam.

Category: 2016