Initiated in 2017 thanks to the generous support of the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism (United Arab Emirates), the project “Strengthening national capacities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in Sudan” has just come to an end. It reinforced human and institutional capacities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in Sudan, but also resulted in improving the visibility of living heritage and increasing awareness of its significance, while bringing communities closer together.
Despite the civil unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative allowed for over twenty capacity-building and training workshops to take place. Those activities tackled important issues such as intellectual property and ICH, displacement and ICH, safeguarding of cross-border ICH, misrepresentation of ICH, as well as the role of the media in raising awareness about the rich and diverse ICH of the Sudanese communities. The project received national media coverage, with local TV channels, radio stations and newspapers reporting on the workshops, demonstrating the increasing interest of the Sudanese population in their intangible heritage. Furthermore, as a result of those activities, a strong network of local ICH experts in Sudan completed an initial inventory of 42 ICH elements, such as the dressing style of women of Roshaida tribe, Al Saeia Poetry, and henna. Another important result of project was the preparation of a national strategy for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in Sudan.
Following those achievements and thanks to the training received through the project, Sudan participated in the preparation of the multinational nomination “Date palm, knowledge, skills, traditions and practices”, inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2019 following a collective effort of several Arab countries.
Strengthening national capacities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in Sudan (30 May 2017 – 31 December 2020)