Living heritage in the Nordic countries

Hanaholmen, Esbo

31.10 - 1.11.2019

International Conference on the Role of Communities and the Possibility for New Sustainable Societies

Living heritage is a timely topic gaining awareness all over the world. In the era of global crises, where political instability, cultural alienation as well as political, religious and ideological extremism continue gaining validity, the seminar aims to tackle issues of sustainable development, social cohesion and cultural diversity within a context of cross-sectorial expertise.

The UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has already been ratified by 178 countries that shows the willingness to act together for the safeguarding of living heritage. All the Nordic countries have ratified the Convention and cooperation across borders flourishes actively on versatile levels.

Now for the first time Nordic actors will gather together for a conference in Finland to discuss about safeguarding, joint projects and sharing good practices. As urged by the Faro Convention, the conference gives special focus on the role of communities and NGO’s.

The conference will consist of keynotes from all Nordic countries: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, including Greenland, Faroe Islands and Åland as well as from the Baltic countries and Canada. The presentations will highlight experiences in different fields of intangible heritage: performing arts, crafts, oral heritage, nature and social events. Several workshops will be held to give the participants room to interact with each other, learn together and to promote Nordic cooperation.

The conference is free of charge. The programme is targeted at anyone and everyone working with intangible heritage: practitioners, NGO’s, civil servants, researchers, museums professionals, etc.  The seminar language is English.

The seminar is organized by the Finnish Heritage Agency in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Culture, Hanaholmen Cultural Centre, Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the Finnish National Commission for UNESCO.

After the two-day conference the Arts Promotion Centre Finland facilitates a World Saving Clinic with the conference participants. Believing in the power of co-creation, the World Saving Clinic aims to empower experts in a new, bold future-oriented role.

Registration for the seminar will open in August.


Thursday 31st October

10.00 Welcome Speeches

Riitta Kaivosoja, Ministry of Education and Culture

Gunvor Kronman, Hanaholmen Cultural Centre

Juhani Kostet, Finnish Heritage Agency

10.30 Keynote Role of Communities and NGO in the Safeguarding of ICH
XX UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Section (tbc)

11:00 Nordic perspectives on the UNESCO 2003 Convention

  • Leena Marsio, Finnish Heritage Agency
  • Annika Sjöberg, Institut för Språk och folkminnen
  • Hildegunn Bjørgen, Kulturrådet – Arts Council Norway
  • Marianne Holm Pedersen, Danish Folklore Archives
  • Staffan Beijars, Ålands museum
  • Armgarð Weihe, Cultural Ministry of the Faroe Islands
  • Kirstine Eiby Møller, Greenland’s National Museum and Archive
  • Rúnar Leifsson, Ministry of Culture, Iceland

12:15 Discussion and questions

Short performance

12:30 Lunch break

13:30 Workshops

  • ICH and Sustainable Development (Aura Seikkula, Arts Promotion Centre Finland)
  • ICH in Education (Ira Vihreälehti and Kati Nurmi, Foundation for Cultural Heritage Education (FI)
  • ICH and Museums (Kirstine Eiby Møller, Greenland’s National Museum and Archive)
  • Inventorying of ICH

15:00 Coffee Break

15.30 Conclusions and discussion

16.15 End of Day one

17:00 Dinner at the Hanaholmen restaurant Johannes

Music performance

20-22 Sauna with the possibility to swim in the Baltic Sea


Friday 1st November

10.00 Presentations

Safeguarding Practices, Eivind Falk, Norwegian Crafts Institute

Role of NGOs in the UNESCO 2003 Convention, Meg Nömgård, Ljungby Storytelling Museum

Developing a Regional ICH Strategy, Johanna Björkholm, KulturÖsterbotten, Finland

11.00 Panel discussion: Safeguarding Practices and the Involvement of Communities

What is a community? What does participation in practice mean? The panel will consist of 5 practitioners from different countries sharing their views.

12:00 Discussion

12:30 Lunch Break

13:30 Workshops

  • Nordic – Baltic Cooperation (Matti Hakamäki, Finnish Folk Music Institute)
  • ICH, Cultural Diversity and Migration (Hildegunn Bjørgen, Arts Council Norway)
  • UNESCO Nominations (Eivind Falk, Norwegian Crafts Institute)
  • Good Safeguarding Practices in Different Domains
    • Crafts: (Solveig Grinder, Norwegian Folk Art and Craft Association)
    • Oral Traditions (Meg Nömgård, Ljungby Storytelling Museum)
    • Performing Arts
    • Nature

14:30 Coffee

Workshop continues

15:30 Discussion and Conclusions

16:00 End of the Seminar


Saturday 2nd November, Hanaholmen

World Saving Clinic

Believing in the power of co-creation, the World Saving Clinic aims to empower experts in a new, bold future-oriented role. Faro Agreement contextualizes the Clinic’s working process as it considers living heritage as a solution to major prevailing European political challenges. By using artistic methods as tradition-innovation creating tools, clinics are moderated as participatory innovation labs where biggest dreams come true and futures are saved.

More information:
Leena Marsio, Finnish Heritage Agency, leena.marsio(at), +358 29533  6017, website
Jaana Tamminen, Hanaholmen – the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre, jaana.tamminen(at), +358 40 54 54 972