By Deborah Kapchan

Are human rights common? The instant reaction is "yes, of course." besides the fact that, that straightforward confirmation assumes contract approximately definitions of the "human" in addition to what a human is entitled to less than legislations, bringing us speedy to recommendations corresponding to freedom, estate, and the inalienability of either. the belief that all of us suggest an analogous issues via those phrases includes a lot political import, specially on condition that various groups (national, ethnic, non secular, gendered) enact the most simple different types of human event (self, domestic, freedom, sovereignty) another way. yet while criminal definitions frequently search to put off ambiguity with a view to outline and shield the rights of humanity, ambiguity is in truth inherently human, in particular in performances of historical past the place the rights to experience, to visualize, and to assert cultural identities that withstand circumscription are at play.
Cultural history in Transit examines the intangibilities of human rights within the realm of background construction, focusing not just at the ephemeral tradition of these who practice it but in addition at the ambiguities found in the assumption of cultural estate in general—who claims it? who may possibly use it? who are not yet does? during this quantity, folklorists, ethnologists, and anthropologists learn the perform and function of tradition specifically contexts—including Roma marriage ceremony tune, Trinidadian wining, Moroccan verbal paintings, and Neopagan rituals—in order to attract aside the social, political, and aesthetic materialities of historical past construction, together with inequities and hierarchies that didn't exist earlier than. The authors jointly craft theoretical frameworks to make feel of the methods the rights of countries engage with the rights of people and groups whilst the general public price of inventive creations is constituted via foreign law.

Contributors: Valdimar Tr. Hafstein, Deborah Kapchan, Barbro Klein, Sabina Magliocco, Dorothy Noyes, Philip W. Scher, Carol Silverman.

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Additional info for Cultural Heritage in Transit: Intangible Rights as Human Rights

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Instead, intangible heritage objectifies the practices and expressions of human communities. It is defined ethnographically rather than topographically. Intangible heritage emerges out of an intervention in community practices, and this intervention defines and delimits the community. If then tangible heritage is territory in some sense, then by the same token it stands to reason that intangible heritage is community. Safeguarding Community The safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage represents a subtle innovation in governmental rationality, disciplining populations through a conversion of their customs, practices, and expressions into heritage (the threatened nature of which makes it morally imperative to intervene).

They also underline that heritage is a transformative process. It transforms the relationship of people with their practices and, as a consequence, their relationship with each other (mediated through those practices). It does so by appealing to their civic duty and moral responsibility for maintaining a particular alignment between the past and the present, in which strong emotions and identities are invested. In this sense, heritage is a technology for acting on the social, giving rise to changed behavior.

And the Indian delegate insisted on the retention of this condition, cautioning that its deletion “would be very dangerous” (consider the Khasi insurgents who kidnapped a folklorist to inspire the cadres). Germany and its allies in the protection of national sovereignty won the day. The final text makes listing of heritage contingent on its proposal by the states parties concerned. The principle of territorial sovereignty cited by the German delegate, though its invocation is a leitmotif in the negotiation of most international instruments, is particularly notable for the consideration of heritage and can help to shed light on what is new in this convention.

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