Human Rights

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By Deborah Kapchan

Are human rights common? The fast reaction is "yes, of course." in spite of the fact that, that straightforward confirmation assumes contract approximately definitions of the "human" in addition to what a human is entitled to lower than legislation, bringing us speedy to strategies resembling freedom, estate, and the inalienability of either. the idea that all of us suggest a similar issues by means of those phrases includes a lot political import, particularly on condition that varied groups (national, ethnic, non secular, gendered) enact essentially the most uncomplicated different types of human event (self, domestic, freedom, sovereignty) otherwise. yet while criminal definitions frequently search to get rid of ambiguity so as to outline and defend the rights of humanity, ambiguity is actually inherently human, specifically in performances of history the place the rights to experience, to visualize, and to assert cultural identities that face up to circumscription are at play.
Cultural historical past in Transit examines the intangibilities of human rights within the realm of history construction, focusing not just at the ephemeral tradition of these who practice it but additionally at the ambiguities found in the belief of cultural estate in general—who claims it? who may well use it? who aren't yet does? during this quantity, folklorists, ethnologists, and anthropologists study the perform and function of tradition specifically contexts—including Roma marriage ceremony song, Trinidadian wining, Moroccan verbal paintings, and Neopagan rituals—in order to attract aside the social, political, and aesthetic materialities of history construction, together with inequities and hierarchies that didn't exist prior to. The authors jointly craft theoretical frameworks to make experience of the methods the rights of countries have interaction with the rights of people and groups whilst the general public worth of inventive creations is constituted via foreign law.

Contributors: Valdimar Tr. Hafstein, Deborah Kapchan, Barbro Klein, Sabina Magliocco, Dorothy Noyes, Philip W. Scher, Carol Silverman.

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Additional info for Cultural Heritage in Transit: Intangible Rights as Human Rights

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The term invasion makes clear that we are faced here with acts of aggression, even if that aggression is commercial in motives and means. Filching, usurpation, depredation: so many ways to name a thief. The colorful lexicon of theft in the minister’s letter emphasizes ownership. It goes to support the minister’s main point, namely that folklore should be considered cultural property controlled by states, on the model of UNESCO’s 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, adopted two and a half years before the letter was drawn up:1 The international conventions drawn up by UNESCO now provide protection for anonymous works in the domains alike of archeology and of the plastic arts, but it has only been thought fit to do this in respect of tangible objects, and not of forms of artistic expression transitory in time and space, such as music and dance, but nonetheless, works of art which are, today, subject to the most intense clandestine commercialization and export, despite the fact that they form part of States’ cultural heritage.

Blake 2001; Bortolotto 2008; Hafstein 2004a; Sherkin 2001). In the 1990s, these endeavors shifted away from an 34 Valdimar Tr. Hafstein archival paradigm of European pedigree. Documentation and research moved down the agenda, while intergenerational transmission became the new priority—­the attempt to actually ensure continuity of the traditions targeted. Japanese and Korean programs on “living national treasures” and laws for the protection of “intangible heritage” (on the books since 1950 in Japan and 1962 in the Republic of Korea) provided new blueprints for UNESCO’s activities in this field (Hafstein 2004a; Bortolotto 2008).

Export is one: the problem is foreigners. This is a national problem—­a challenge to national culture—­and therefore also an international problem, because borders are permeable and no one patrols the circulation of culture across them. The term invasion makes clear that we are faced here with acts of aggression, even if that aggression is commercial in motives and means. Filching, usurpation, depredation: so many ways to name a thief. The colorful lexicon of theft in the minister’s letter emphasizes ownership.

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