21 Jan 2016

Intangible Cultural Heritage Field Inventory Exercise Targeting Young People

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ICH (CLARET CONNOR)From July 20 – 24, 2015, the Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO organized a five (5) day intangible cultural heritage (ICH) field inventory exercise targeting young people from various youth organizations in the community.

Minister Claret Connor, delivered the welcome remarks on Monday, July 20th thanked the young people for participating in this important and valuable initiative, and for assisting the Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO with this project which will assist with preserving and passing on this knowledge about St. Martin’s culture heritage. He asked them to treasure this opportunity and experience, and he looks forward to reviewing some of the recordings and documentation from this week.

One or more participants from the Youth Parliament, National Institute of Arts, Funtopia, The SXM Young Ambassadors, Voice of Our Children, Voice of the Youth and Teen Times participated in the workshop.

During the five days of training, they learnt a number of skills that enabled them to assist with the inventorying and recording our intangible cultural heritage.

The lead facilitator for the training was Ms. Clara Reyes, co-director of the National Institute of the Arts (NIA), while other facilitators for the workshops included Ms. Daphne Thomas of the Culture Department, Mr. Alston Lourens of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Mr. Rodney Richardson and members of the Department of Communication (DCOMM) and Ms. Marcellia Henry, Secretary General of UNESCO, St. Maarten.

The sessions over the 5 days focused on developing the young people’s knowledge and understanding of Cultural Heritage: Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) & Tangible Cultural Heritage, the importance of identifying, safeguarding and inventorying St. Martin’s Cultural Heritage.

The youth participants obtained practical training in the usage of audio and video recording and photography. They learnt interviewing skills and techniques and discussed attitudes, ethics and responsibilities when inventorying and ICH element in a community.

The final aspect of the training consisted of preparations for inventorying / gathering information about the ICH Element the ‘Ponum Dance’. In which students got the opportunity to go on an excursion to interview and video record different persons (dancers, drummers, senior citizens), who still practice, preserve and have knowledge of this national dance. Afterwards, the editing of the recorded work followed.