Invitation for international scientific conference ‘Local Communities, Cultural Heritage and Museums’

Safeguarding living heritage as a mission – interview with Irena Todorova
Capacity-building workshop “Community-based inventorying on local and national level”

Local Communities, Cultural Heritage and Museums 

International Scientific Conference

Of the “Cultural Resources, Valorization of Heritage and Local Development” project (DN20/12, IEFSEM – BAS)

In partnership with New Bulgarian University and Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe under the auspices of UNESCO

25–26.02.2021, NBU, Sofia




The idea for the scientific conference is a result of the research of a team from the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with the Ethnographic Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, New Bulgarian University, Rousse Regional Museum of History, Sliven Regional Museum of History, which implements the project “Cultural Resources, Valorisation of Heritage and Local Development”, funded by the Scientific Research Fund (DN20/12, 20.12.2017).

Cultural resources and their use for local development attract the attention of scientists from different fields of knowledge – anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, economists, cultural managers, etc. An object of lasting research interest in the human social sciences, cultural resources and their rethinking as legacies reveal deep connections between social actors, institutions, places of habitation and historical connections.

Cultural heritage occupies an important place in international development policies and programs. The 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly, focuses for the first time on culture in a new role – a powerful factor for sustainable and inclusive development.

Therefore, the conference draws attention to several important aspects in the study, research and interpretation of the relations between local communities, cultural heritage and museums as intermediaries in social communication and development.

Local cultural resources: rethinking of values and transformations in cultural heritage

  • the “discovery” of cultural resources, forgotten places, faces, historical characters, cultural practices, knowledge and skills and their secondary discovery and use in a new way among the images of the local;
  • the manners and practices, through which we create, live through and reconsider the past in terms of values, transited by succession through the generations;
  • cooperation, inclusion of groups, associations and the establishment of networks in the processes of rediscovery of cultural resources, of their sharing and public acknowledgment as valuable for the local communities and museums.

The living heritage in museum practices and policies: knowledge, emotion, empathy and sharing:

  • how do we present the “intangible” as “durable” in time – living heritage in verbal, visual and musical images;
  • how do we register the experienced in time and turn it into a reenactment, an event, an animation of a historical narrative, a shared experience of a festival;
  • how do we build partnerships, define interested parties, discover audiences, establish work networks.

Local heritage – images, values, products, messages:

  • transformation of images of memory, of regions, and of communities – new products and messages;
  • establishing of new messages towards new audiences, discovery of interested parties, inclusion of new partners, sharing of common values;
  • processes and activities of rethinking of symbolic, economic and social aspects of heritage.


The organizers foresee a conference in attendance, conducted in accordance with the anti-epidemic measures, but do not exclude online participation or an entire transition to an online conference.

Duration of the presentation – 20 min. or 6 slides

We will expect your application, which includes author, institution, title of the report/presentation, a short summary (not more than 150 words), and e-mail for correspondence until 5.12.2020 on e-mail: with copy to
Information for the accepted application will be received by senders until 10.12.2020.

The publishing of the materials from the conference is foreseen in a peer-reviewed bilingual online edition in Bulgarian and in English. Each author is to send his text in the language by preference.

The deadline for sending the texts for the publication is 24.02.2021, not more than 27 000 characters with the intervals (15 p.), including the notes and the literature, not more than 6 images (300 DPI) with written permission for their publishing. Each text is to be send with a summary not larger than 600 characters with the intervals, and keywords – between 3 and 6. The presentation of the author is with not more than 450 characters with the intervals – outside the main text. The requirements for the bibliography and citation are described in the Addendum of the invitation.

In case you are hindered to participate in person, you can apply and send a text for publishing in accordance with the requirements.

The organizers will not cover daily and travel allowances and transportation costs.


Organization Committee

Assoc. Prof. Valentina Ganeva-Raycheva, PhD, project manager, IEFSEM – BAS

Irena Todorova, PhD, Executive director of the Regional Centre Sofia – UNESCO

Assoc. Prof. Irena Bokova, PhD, Head of “Anthropology” Department, NBU

Prof. Nikolay Nenov, PhD, Director of RRMH

Assoc. Prof. Kristiyan Postadzhiyan, PhD, Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies, NBU

Iskren Velikov, PhD, RRMH (secretary)