Here’s how the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, promulgated by UNESCO in 2003 and ratified by Italy in 2007, defines its object:
The “intangible cultural heritage” means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity. For the purposes of this Convention, consideration will be given solely to such intangible cultural heritage as is compatible with existing international human rights instruments, as well as with the requirements of mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals, and of sustainable development. (Art.2)
According to the Convention, the communities, groups and individuals bearers of knowledge, practices and skills are the true main characters in the process of cultural production and transmission.
AGA’s and Festival Tocatì’s story take on an exemplary significance in the light of this new scenario. From a group of players organized in a cultural association emerged a movement that wants to regenerate the relation with the city and the territory, as places we belong to.
The association appeals to local politics, negotiates the conditions to fulfil the will to continue playing in the city, with and for the city. AGA then works with the other communities, designs a Festival and activates international networks. The great journeys of heritages in the world have many stories to tell. Tocatì’s story is one of them.
The project of Tocatì and its long journey interest UNESCO so much that since 2016 the Festival has been under its patronage, emphasizing the link between the safeguarding of traditional games and sports as intangible cultural heritage, as underlined by the Director-General Irina Bokova in her letters of August 9th, 2016 which focus on Intangible Cultural Heritage and her letter June 7th, 2017 where she focuses particularly on the value of traditional games and sports.
Find the Italian translation of Director-General Irina Bokova’s letters, here: August 9th, 2016 and June 7th, 2017.