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14.00  Locality Revitalization in the Post-Industrial Era

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This paper will analyze the potential of intangible cultural heritage for social cohesion on the local and regional level in Ukraine, especially, in post-conflict and post-industrial zones in waterfront areas historically inhabited by different cultures. The paper will consist of three parts: the general introduction of the issue, the examination of case studies, and the conclusions/recommendations. The introduction will expose the approach, based Ukrainian and international papers, that intangible cultural heritage constitutes not only consolidating but also rebuilding social force, which allows the creation of new jobs and working places in depressed spaces related to post-industrial zones through intercultural dialogue. The first of the three presented case studies will be Melitopol, a town in the eastern southern part of Ukraine, on the border of armed conflict, a post-industrial area, not far from Azov Sea, that lost its former glory, but  preserved its memories, traditional skills and knowledge. The major ethnic groups of its 157,000 population are Ukrainians (55.1%) and Russians (38.9%). Other groups that historically live there are Bulgarians (1.8%), Belorussians (0.8%), Armenians (0.3%), Greeks (0.2%), Jews (0.2%), Crimean Tartars, Germans, Czechs, etc. One of the ethnic communities is the community of Karaites, which tries to preserve, examine and renovate cultural and spiritual space characteristic to them through special cousin, traditions, drafts, ritual spaces and even new facilities; for instance, a private café-museum named Kale, a cultural centre opened for all cultures and ethnic groups and describing their common life there. The cultural budget of the town constitutes 0.8% of all budget expenses (about UAH 596 mn or $28 mn) has now a special amount (grants) for common projects of different ethnic groups. 

The second case study is the city of Zaporizzia, famous in late twentieth century for Dnipro power station, the river port, its factories and plants, railway connection, etc., and long and rich cultural heritage related to Cosack history, oral myths and legends, songs, dances and crafts. The population of this regional city is 761,993 inhabitants, consisting of Ukrainians (70.3%), Russians (25.4%), Belorussians (0.7%), Jews (0.4%), Armenians Georgians, Crimean Tartars (0.3%), Albanians, Greeks, Germans, etc. The diverse and rich cultural heritage provided the base for the efficient reanimation of this post-industrial zone, including the historic site; the island Khortytsia at the river Dnipro, where the special preserved area was organized as a place for different intercultural and festive events. 

The last case study is linked with locality along the river Danube, at the southern part of Ukraine, close to the Black Sea area, in the town of Izmail and surrounding area with apopulation above 80,000, consisting of Russians (43.7%), Ukrainians (38%), Bulgarians (10%), Moldavans (5%), Jews, Gagauzes, Romanians, etc. There are a dozen of reserved sites of regional and national importance there that are now under the attention of local authorities trying to use the local budget (about UAH 240 million, or $10 million) effectively for local development through economic and cultural rehabilitation. The renovation of this territory represented by various settlements and villages is based on the preservation of ethnic traditions and customs, amended by inoethnical elements (like marriage traditions, rituals). It has stimulated the development of so-called green tourism by providing new working places and facilities. In summary, the paper has researched and will show the potential of ICH for local and community development and its spin-off effects for creative economy and the labour market, stressing the role of culture and cultural (intangible) heritage in social development, social solidarity and coherence in times of “liquid morality and liquid evil.”

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