CONFERENCE EMPHASIZED HERITAGE AS A SOURCE OF IDENTITY

THE ACTIVITY WAS HELD AT THE AUDITORIUM OF THE BICENTENNIAL SPACE OF OUR UNIVERSITY, AND WAS PRESIDED OVER BY ERNESTO OTTONE, SECRETARY OF CULTURE AND THE ARTS.



June 8, 2016

The Universidad de Talca became a space for reflection on Heritage as a common good or as a market good, bringing together representatives from different institutions at the Bicentennial Space, with the objective of analyzing this issue from the Maule Region point of view.

The activity, organized by the National Council for culture and the arts and presided over by the Minister Ernesto Ottone, is the sixth of its kind that takes place in the country and became, at the same time, an instance of recognition of the concern of the House of studies for the culture.

President Álvaro Rojas highlighted the opportunity of establishing an effective dialogue with the regional community, as a way to consider and to value the opinion of the new Government Department of Culture, the Arts and Heritage on the Heritage issue "which, because of its nature, its management must be strongly decentralized ".

Common Good

"Our Heritage is a common good, not a market commodity," he emphasized, along with stressing that cultural heritage should be safeguarded, "but never for commercial interest, only as a way of placing more significance on identity".

About this opportunity for dialogue, he noted that, no doubt, the Maulean suggestions will enrich the national collective construction. "Geography, the climate, the somehow manifest presence of indigenous peoples, help to determine in different ways the cultural evolution, and thus, the way how the past is constructed and deconstructed, despite the common language, religion and history," he said.

Rescuing the Paths

According to the president, the process of the historical construction of memory and identity, "in addition to being a major endeavor, it means to begin a long journey of inquiry into testimonies, reminiscences and memories, from where it is still possible to rescue the traces of writings, codes and objectuality, all of them functional to a past cultural environment".

Rojas also said that Heritage is built from the social and from the ideologies points of view and, in the case of the University, from the training of students, in the intangible heritage they receive and perceive.

Therefore, he argued that the University can not sustain itself only by offering undergraduate and graduate programs, research lines and mobility programs, because there exists a " University ideal, where culture plays a particularly significant role in professional  training and in the universal heritage of mankind".

In this context, he talked about the work done in the legitimization of the Arts and Culture "and to create an artistic heritage, without any pretense of pointless art collecting", but to share it and make it available to the community.

For his part, Secretary Ottone talked about the decentralization of conservation policies, where he mentioned the significance of "everything that is proper to the identity and legacy inherited from our cultural processes".

Common Spaces

On the question raised at the Heritage Conference, Ottone said that "we are convinced that they are common spaces; what we are trying to define is whether these spaces are public or private ".

Likewise, he said that the Culture Council prefers to conduct these dialogues in state universities, such as the UTALCA, where "we can reflect about the changes coming in the next few years, which have to do with reviewing the laws on Heritage".

The Government authority had highly favorable reviews about the work of the Universidad de Talca in the cultural sector and, in particular, he underlined the presence of the School of Architecture at the Venice Biennale, with a proposal related to the identity of Chile’s Central Valley.

In his speech, Ottone mentioned some disputes between past and present and between natural and cultural Heritage. In this field, he emphasized that "keeping an object is not the same as preserving traditions represented by people". Likewise, talking about the conflict between cultural heritage and tourism, he admitted it is a complex issue. “In the conferences, we place special emphasis on the debates around the needs a community concerning its development and economic sustainability, and in that aspect, tourism is vital, but that doesn’t mean it has to put aside the local Heritage. We must find a balance", he remarked.

In his opinion, the State is not the only responsible in this problem; he indicated that the communities also share the responsibility; they must put limits to prevent that a lucrative action may destroy the identity they are trying to promote.

The main speech, "The Broken Wing: Heritage, Archives and Expressing Differences", was given by the Director and Curator of Chile’s National Archives, Emma de Ramón, who highlighted the history and valuation of the archives as "tangible and intangible written memory". A critical panel, moderated by researcher Sonia Montecino, National Award for Humanities and Social Sciences, was subsequently conducted. Academic Pedro Emilio Zamorano; the spokesperson for the First Nations’ Parliament of the Maule Region, Rayén Carimán; the Director of Cultural and Artistic Extension from our University, Marcela Albornoz and the Director of the O'Higgins Museum of Fine Arts, Alejandro Morales, participated as panelists.



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