Living Heritage: the world through the eyes of your students of photography12/01/2023
The living heritage of traditional Bulgarian cuisine – workshop in Smolian25/01/2023
The living heritage of traditional Bulgarian cuisine
Project implemented by the Regional Centre Sofia – UNESCO
The Regional Centre implements the project “The living heritage of traditional Bulgarian cuisine” under the program “Program for Restoration and Development of Private Cultural Organizations” of the National Culture Fund.
The living heritage аdds value to the cultural differences inherent in traditions as part of the modern ways of life. One important theme in that respect is the traditional Bulgarian cuisine, in that it demonstrates social relationships, highlights significant dates on the calendar, and sustains long-lasting relationships with the natural environment and the local cultures. This project seeks to interpret the living heritage of the traditional Bulgarian cuisine by means of a photographic exhibition, a digital catalog and a number of short films. The emphasis is on the experiences, the creative process, and the transmission of traditions, on communication and sharing.
Living heritages quite often come into being for a specific reason and in a specific moment in time, and the photographs have the power of expressing to what extent that moment was important and seminal for the people involved. What is so special about them is their ability to capture the moment, whether of the process of creation, or of the emotion involved in creating or experiencing the thing, object, food, in sharing the experience of the feast, ritual, or event.
The challenges facing the Regional Centre Sofia have been two-fold: offering support to bearers and practitioners of living heritages at local level for their active involvement in cultural events, and adding value to their knowledge and skills, in parallel with drawing the attention of diverse audiences, especially young people, by interpreting the living heritages in a new way and providing access to information, knowledge and co-experiences in a digital environment. The project is aimed at discovering bearers and practitioners of ICH in the local communities, people who build local cultural identities by means of their traditional cuisine. Food, seen as a means of disclosing relationships among humans and between humans and their natural environment, enables new approaches to the safeguarding and promotion of the cultural heritage – in terms of subject matter, its relevance to daily life and ensuring broad access to knowledge. The Regional Centre will expand the sphere of interaction and will enhance its social role as a go-between in the communication with the living heritage, and through that, as a conduit for reaching out to diverse audiences. The pursuit of partnerships with other cultural institutions, with bearers of local knowledge and traditions, is in synch with the Centre’s international endeavors involving the 17 Member States, as well as in its relations with the UNESCO network, primarily the other Category 2 regional centres, in sharing and disseminating good practices pertinent to the safeguarding, conservation and promotion of living heritages.
And, last but not least in importance, the goal is to develop an interdisciplinary approach, one that combines the methods of scientific research with the approaches of ethnology, with the creative capacity of photography and cinematography, in order to obtain a specific result: familiarity and emotional interpretation through the languages of science and visual imagery.
The project provides an interpretation of the living heritage and traditional cuisine in the processes of preparation of ingredients, of cooking and sharing food; it uses the tools of the visual arts, which transcend the boundaries of video recording and photography for mere ‘reporting’ and ‘illustration’ purposes. The approach of visual anthropology – i.e., of research through visual images rather than their culturological description – requires a creative interpretation of the living heritages, the transmission and sharing of knowledge and emotion by means of the creative achievements of film and photography.
The thematic area of living heritages has been evolving quite actively on an international level in the past decade and the creative products and outcomes of the project fit squarely into that tendency.
Short films presenting the preparation of ingredients, the cooking and sharing of food in the context of the traditional Bulgarian cuisine;
A photographic exhibition, presenting a selection of photographs capturing significant stages in the preparation of ingredients, the cooking and sharing of food in the context of the traditional Bulgarian cuisine;
Catalog of the photographic exhibition, showcasing the exhibition entries and the relevant heritage bearers and practitioners while also providing background information about the locations and online catalog;
Seminars presenting the project and its significance and results;
Expert reports and lectures.
Project page – www.unesco-centerbg.org – About us – Projects