Re-voicing Cultural Landscapes

Looking at Kernewek (Cornish, UK), Livonian (Latvia and Estonia), and Frysk (Frisian, The Netherlands) this project studies the relationships between majority and minority perspectives on intangible cultural heritage, using theatre and festivals as a focus.

A photo of Mazey Day, 2005
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European Commission logo

Project details

Project leadDr Laura Hodsdon
Start date 1 June 2021
End date 31 May 2023
Programme alignmentCreative Industries Futures

Falmouth University is leading a consortium of the Universities of Latvia, Tartu (Estonia), and Groningen (The Netherlands) in a project that researches marginalised intangible cultural heritage.

The Re-voicing Cultural Landscapes project will use archival and desk research, primary data, and creative practice-based research compared across minority cultures in the UK (Cornwall), Netherlands (Fryslân), Latvia and Estonia (Livonian). The project aims to better understand the interplay between majority and minority narratives, perspectives, and performances of intangible cultural heritage, to make marginalised cultural landscapes more visible and resilient, and produce impactful insights to inform local communities to (inter)national policy-makers.

European nations are often thought of as culturally homogenous. Yet over 200 national minorities are recognised by the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages. Clearly the picture is more complicated than meets the eye.

One way that minority cultures express their distinct identities is through intangible cultural heritage (ICH). ICH describes a culture's traditions rather than its monuments: from language to crafts, from dancing to food, it is the 'traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants' (UNESCO). Alongside these expressions of minority culture are narratives of how a minority culture is seen from the outside, across a nation's culture and beyond (such as in literature, television, or tourism marketing). The people who create and consume these narratives belong not necessarily either/or to the minority or majority, but a spectrum of more fluid identities.

Using inter-disciplinary and cross-national perspectives, the project will ask: How can a better understanding of the interplay between majority and minority narratives, perspectives, and performances of intangible cultural heritage enable us to make marginalised cultural landscapes more visible and resilient?

Using a variety of methods and contexts encompassing language; centre-periphery and demographic change; historical and contemporary creative practice and the arts; and socio-cultural networks and hierarchies: the project's approach is underpinned by the aim of better understanding, and potentially reconciling, majority and minority culture - whether that means greater synergy, or greater distinctiveness.

Project team

Below you can see the project team that is working on Re-voicing Cultural Landscapes.

Dr Laura Hodsdon

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Laura Hodsdon is a Senior Research Fellow focusing on identity and culture from a perspective of ...

Dr Laura Hodsdon
Denzil Monk staff picture

Denzil Monk

Lecturer in Film

Denzil is a lecturer in Film specialising in producing at the School of Film & Television at Fal...

Denzil Monk

Agnieszka Blonska

Senior Lecturer in Theatre

Agnieszka Blonska is a theatre director and performer based in the UK since 2003. For the last 18 ye...

Agnieszka Blonska

Dr Lucy Frears FHEA

Associate Lecturer

Dr Lucy Frears' practice-based research on Locative Media includes immersive sound, memories, phenom...

Dr Lucy Frears FHEA

Partners

Falmouth University is part of a project consortium alongside the University of Latvia, the University of Tartu and the University of Groningen.

Each university in the consortium is working with a number of project partners in each country. In the UK these are: 

  • Cornwall Council
  • Cornwall Museums Partnership
  • Tate St Ives
  • Screen Cornwall

Funders

This projects has been supported by grant funding from the following funding bodies:

European Commission logo
European Commission logo

European Commission

The European Commission facilitates research to help safeguard and valorise cultural heritage and cr...

European Commission

Project value

Total value €600,000 split across the consortium, with the UK project overseen by the AHRC and costing €200,000.

Impact & recognition

By generating new knowledge about the socio-spatial geographies of existing heritage challenges, it is intended that stakeholders will use insights to change policies, practices, or behaviours to make marginalised ICH more visible and resilient.

Longer-term, the project aims to increase the visibility and resilience of minority cultures within regional, national and global society, economy, and culture.