The historical reenactments are descriptive and ritual group events that characterize Western culture nowadays. The characteristics of these new laical rituals are: making history accessible to all; strengthening community ties and grass-roots organization. The main analysis takes place in Abruzzo, in the Centre of Italy, where historical reenactments have spread since 1981 throughout mass culture and monopolize the public places for the weeks they are put in place, usually in the summer. In Abruzzo, the associations for historical reenactment cooperate through partnerships and lobbying tactics to pursuit significant public funding. The ambiguos characteristics of such ceremonies are: the high cost, the obligation to renew the ritual in the future and the exclusion of immigrants. This shape creates a conflict between cultural rights and ethical and environmental needs which the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguard of Intangible Cultural Heritage has tried to front. This international Convention, accepted by 175 countries, guarantees free expression of cultural diversity according to a universal idea of cultural heritage; which entails the creation of inclusive and reflective processes on the area, as a result of which citizens learn to relate to their past with ethical awareness and sustainability, in collaboration with government and the scientific community. Then, for the social and cultural success of the historical reenactments is not sufficient merely to consult historians to formally validate the accuracy of the event, but is necessary to involve anthropologists and sociologists on the sustainability and the long-term significance of these public activity.

Historical re-enactments: cultural bridges or expressive tools of cultural closure?

Lia Giancristofaro
2019

Abstract

The historical reenactments are descriptive and ritual group events that characterize Western culture nowadays. The characteristics of these new laical rituals are: making history accessible to all; strengthening community ties and grass-roots organization. The main analysis takes place in Abruzzo, in the Centre of Italy, where historical reenactments have spread since 1981 throughout mass culture and monopolize the public places for the weeks they are put in place, usually in the summer. In Abruzzo, the associations for historical reenactment cooperate through partnerships and lobbying tactics to pursuit significant public funding. The ambiguos characteristics of such ceremonies are: the high cost, the obligation to renew the ritual in the future and the exclusion of immigrants. This shape creates a conflict between cultural rights and ethical and environmental needs which the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguard of Intangible Cultural Heritage has tried to front. This international Convention, accepted by 175 countries, guarantees free expression of cultural diversity according to a universal idea of cultural heritage; which entails the creation of inclusive and reflective processes on the area, as a result of which citizens learn to relate to their past with ethical awareness and sustainability, in collaboration with government and the scientific community. Then, for the social and cultural success of the historical reenactments is not sufficient merely to consult historians to formally validate the accuracy of the event, but is necessary to involve anthropologists and sociologists on the sustainability and the long-term significance of these public activity.
Select Conference proceedings in collaboration with Voces Del Caribe ISSN: 2169-6179
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/700763
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