On 20 September, ICHCAP held the 2017 Expert Workshop on Video Documentation of ICH in Southeast Asia in George Town located in the Malaysian state of Penang. Since 2015, ICHCAP has been implementing a project of documenting ICH in the Asia-Pacific region. The first smaller project on Central Asian ICH, which had continued for about two years, was successfully completed in the first half of this year. ICHCAP has selected Southeast Asia as the second locus for the project. The three-year project aims to video-record ICH in Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia. ICHCAP invited stakeholders—video and ICH experts in the countries—to the workshop to complement video production guidelines and have working-level discussions before the project begins in earnest.
The workshop consisted of two sections. In the first section, the meaning of video documentation was explained in light of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Cases of the two-year video documentation project on Central Asian ICH were presented and followed by a video screening on the project outcomes. In the second section, participants from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines (NCCA) and the Vietnamese Institute of Culture and Art Studies (VICAS) reported their cases of ICH video production in Southeast Asia, drawing much attention from others. Lastly, the participants shared guidelines on the video documentation project and had a relevant discussion.
Representatives from nine Southeast Asian countries attended the workshop. They agreed that the ICH video documentation project is essential to promote the importance of ICH safeguarding among the general public, especially the youth, and expressed their willingness to actively engage in the project. They also pointed out potential challenges of the project, such as different video production environments of the countries and the lack of ICH experts. To address such issues, ICHCAP said that it will lead an active communication and discussion among the participating countries.
The video documentation project on Southeast Asian ICH will continue for three years from 2017 to 2019, and eight Southeast Asian countries will be selected as the project countries. Selected countries and relevant institutions will make a eighty videos (ten videos per country) on ICH to be used for education and broadcasting.