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2023 Jeonju International Awards for Promoting Intangible Cultural Heritage (JIAPICH) | South Korea

The anticipation is palpable as we approach the eagerly awaited announcement of the JIAPICH finalists. In this monumental event of 2023, we are delighted to disclose that Prof. Galla holds the prestigious position of Chair of the Jury for the Jeonju International Awards for Promoting Intangible Cultural Heritage (JIAPICH). The JIAPICH team is on the verge of unveiling the highly anticipated list of finalists. We extend a warm invitation for you to stay tuned for this momentous update, a celebration of those committed to safeguarding and promoting intangible cultural heritage. Join us in this thrilling moment as we anxiously await the announcement!

World Anthropology Congress Closes with Focus on Tribal Empowerment, Education, and Cultural Preservation

The curtains have come down on the World Anthropology Congress (WAC) at KISS Deemed to be University, but its echoes continue to resonate across the global anthropological landscape. The valedictory session, graced by Shri Arjun Munda, Hon’ble Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, shed light on the remarkable confluence of history, culture, and academia.

Minister Munda’s speech delved into the pivotal role of Emperor Ashoka in promoting world peace and highlighted the profound connection between the cult of Jagannath and tribal culture. He stressed the need for indigenous people to engage in self-reflection and research within their own communities, emphasizing that quality education is the key to empowering them to address their issues independently.

Moreover, Minister Munda expressed the readiness of the Tribal Affairs Ministry to collaborate on establishing a world-class museum for indigenous communities at KISS University, awaiting a formal proposal from the Odisha Government.

Dr Achyuta Samanta, Founder of KIIT & KISS, received accolades for his visionary leadership and dedication to providing free education to tribal students. He underlined KISS as the ideal venue for the World Anthropology Congress and celebrated the university’s status as the “largest anthropological laboratory of the world.”

Prof Deepak Kumar Behera, VC, KISS-DU, and President of the United India Anthropology Forum (UIAF), shared the staggering statistics of the event, which featured 350 sessions, 20 round-table meetings, 20 workshops, and 120 panel discussions. More than 1,100 anthropologists from 51 nations presented 1,200 research papers, supported by 8 pre-congresses and 10 post-WAC sessions.

The global acclaim for this congress extended beyond borders. Prof Anand Singh from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, commended Dr. Samanta’s commitment to tribal education. Prof P. C. Joshi, WAC Chairman and former Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University, hailed this as the most accessible and affordable anthropology congress ever, citing the unique initiatives undertaken by KISS.

Prof Charlotte Ann Roberts, a Fellow of the British Academy from Durham University, UK, lauded the astounding success of the Congress, underlining its significance in the field of anthropology.

Amidst these remarkable achievements and discussions, Prof Dr Amareswar Galla, from the UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development at Anant National University, Ahmedabad, and Emeritus Faculty at the Australian National University, emerged as a prominent advocate. He envisioned the Congress as a turning point in tribal empowerment and suggested KISS consider launching an international program on applied museum anthropology to nurture professionals capable of managing tribal museums.

As the World Anthropology Congress 2023 draws to a close, Professor Galla’s vision and the collective efforts of all involved promise a brighter future for indigenous communities worldwide, driven by education, cultural preservation, and empowerment.

UNESCO Chair Advocates Empowering Indigenous Communities Through Anthropology at World Anthropology Congress | 14 August 2023

The World Anthropology Congress (WAC) recently reached its conclusion at KISS Deemed to be University, but the spotlight now turns to Professor Dr Amareswar Galla, a leading advocate for tribal empowerment through anthropology. In the valedictory session of the congress, Professor Galla passionately addressed the gathering, emphasizing the transformative potential of anthropology in the lives of indigenous people.

With a distinguished background in inclusive museums and sustainable heritage development, Professor Galla believes that the WAC marks a significant turning point for tribal empowerment. He urged KISS University to consider launching an international program focused on applied museum anthropology, which could produce qualified professionals dedicated to managing tribal museums.

As the world’s attention shifts towards the invaluable contributions of anthropology in tribal communities, Professor Galla’s advocacy takes center stage. His vision aligns with the congress’s overarching theme of empowering indigenous people to lead dignified lives through research, education, and cultural preservation.

The World Anthropology Congress 2023 has set a path for meaningful change, and with Professor Galla at the forefront, it promises a brighter future for indigenous communities worldwide.

Bihar Museum Biennale 2023: Where Culture, Heritage, and Innovation Converge

The Bihar Museum Biennale 2023, a grand celebration of culture, heritage, and innovation, is currently underway in Patna, Bihar. This remarkable event, which runs from August 7th to December 31st, exemplifies the museum’s commitment to education, culture, and heritage preservation. It serves as a vibrant platform for cultural enrichment and empowerment, fostering engagement with the arts and history—a phenomenon referred to as the “Museum Culture.”

A Global Celebration

The second edition of the Bihar Museum Biennale takes the form of a physical extravaganza, uniting art, culture, and heritage under the theme “Connecting People, Connecting Cultures, Interrogating Museums.” This theme encapsulates the essence of the biennale, as it strives to promote and celebrate museum culture while connecting people and cultures on a global scale. It also serves the vital role of preserving our rich heritage for future generations.

Diverse Offerings: The Biennale 2023 presents a diverse array of experiences, including exhibitions, symposiums, master classes, virtual tours, and captivating art showcases. This cultural extravaganza brings together four Indian museums and eight international exhibitions from countries like Brazil, France, Nepal, and Italy, fostering a rich tapestry of cultural narratives.

Symposium Insights with Expert Voices: The biennale’s main symposium delved into critical aspects of museum culture, featuring insightful talks from esteemed experts. It began with a keynote address by Prof. Yannick Lintz, President of Musee Guimet, Paris, who explored the foundation of curatorial communication—the assembly of art objects.

The symposium also tackled the changing creative industry within museums, emphasizing their role as catalysts of innovation and growth. Notably, Dr. Pheroza Godrej, Director of Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai, and Ms. Rakhi Sarkar, Director of the Centre of International Modern Art, Kolkata, shared their perspectives, moderated by Dr. Saryu Doshi, an Art Historian and Author.

Looking Ahead: Upcoming sessions include discussions on ‘New Museum & Typologies,’ where experts, including Mr. Stephen Inglis, Director General of Research and Collections at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hala Warde, Lebanese/French Architect, and Michael Peter Edson, Director of the Museum of Solutions, will delve into the history of human activity preservation. Additionally, ‘Indigenous and Intangible Cultural Heritage,’ featuring Dr. Lars-Christian Koch, Director of the Staatliche Museen Zu Berlin, Germany, and Prof. Amareswar Galla PhD, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums & Sustainable Heritage Development, Anant National University, Ahmedabad, will explore the significance of movable cultural property and its connection to the identity of indigenous people.

Museum Evolution: The symposium explores the rapid evolution of museums from scholarly art repositories to vibrant community voices. It acknowledges the inseparable relationship between technology, engagement, and sustainability in shaping museum operations, outreach, curation, and models.

A Glimpse into the Future: The symposium also offers glimpses into the future of museums, with sessions on museum branding and merchandising, city museums and museum management, AI, and museum engagement. These discussions reveal how museums are embracing technology and innovation to remain relevant and engaging in our ever-changing world.

Trailblazers of Change: The final panel of the symposium provides a stage for trailblazers who are reshaping the museum model in both physical and virtual realms. It includes experts who envision the influence and challenges of our era on future institutions, architectural heritage, and infrastructure.

As the Bihar Museum Biennale 2023 unfolds, it celebrates the rich tapestry of culture and heritage while embracing the innovations of the present and future. This dynamic event invites visitors to explore, engage, and reimagine the world of museums, leaving a lasting impact on the cultural landscape.

Heritage Matters Webinar 26 | Woodfordia: Ecomuseology, Design & Cultural Landscapes

Title – Woodfordia: Ecomuseology, Design & Cultural Landscapes

Date – 5th June 2023, Monday 

Time – 1130-1300 Indian Standard Time (11:30 AM – 01:00 PM)

Recording Link Click Here

The transformation of the international cultural landscapes requires re-envisioning new paradigms that consolidate all elements of the natural/cultural; moveable/immovable; tangible and intangible. Beyond binaries and borders it is One Health and One Environment – building on the four pillars of cultural, economic, social and environmental sustainability and SDGs to address the climate crisis. Two things are of urgent necessity. Harmonisation of International Hard Law and Soft Law instruments – treaties, conventions, charters, declarations and recommendations. We also need demonstration projects at the local level through active citizenship such as Woodfordia (woodfordfolkfestival.com/) building on living cultures and living traditions in the total environment. In this Webinar, we interrogate the making of Woodfordia as an integrated and holistic landscape, a microcosm of Australia and beyond.

Guest – Mr. William Hauritz AM, Founding Director of Woodfordia and Woodford Folk Festival, and a designated Queensland Great in Australia (Bio – Bill Hauritz).

HostProfessor Dr. Amareswar Galla, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development at Anant National University, Ahmedabad. He also holds the position of Emeritus Faculty at the Australian National University, Canberra, and serves as the Chairperson of the International Research Network on the Inclusive Museum (onmuseums.com).

Heritage Matters Webinar 25 | World Heritage 50 Years on: Transformations, Tourism and Interpretation

Title – World Heritage 50 Years on: Transformations, Tourism and Interpretation

Date – Wednesday, 22nd March 2023

Time – 7:30-9:00 PM Indian Standard Time

Recording Link – Click Here

The past five decades have seen considerable progress in the discourse of World Heritage. More recently, the pandemic and post pandemic realities have provided an opportunity to the relevant stakeholders to reflect and progress furthering the location of SDGs in World Heritage. What are the transformations and new learnings? To what extent are these contextually dealing with the climate crisis? How are they addressing the disruptions of the pandemic that impeded progress on poverty alleviation? In many ways, tourism is rebounding around World Heritage. Has this posed new challenges? What are the new opportunities? Who interprets and presents whose heritage have been questions over the past five decades. What is the progress in recent years? These and many other questions will be addressed in the Heritage Matters Webinar 25.

Heritage Matters Webinars brings together Global North and the South to address SDGs, BLM and Climate Crisis. We address the transformation of education and workplaces to rebuild the way we do things; rethink leadership as transformative, inclusive and collaborative; scope with immediacy new approaches to climate crisis; and address culture as an integral part of UN Agenda 2030.
Guest Panel
Lazare Eloundou Assomo, (Architect) Director, World Heritage Centre, UNESCO, Paris; Professor Dr Maria Gravari Barbas, (Architect) UNESCO Chair of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University and the coordinator of the UNITWIN network “Tourism, Culture, Development”; Dr Sujeong Lee, Head of Research Office, UNESCO’s World Heritage Interpretation and Presentation International Centre (WHIPIC).
HostProfessor Dr Amareswar Galla, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development, AnantU, Ahmedabad; Emeritus Faculty at the Australian National University, Canberra; and Chairperson, International Research Network on the Inclusive Museum. (https://onmuseums.com)

Woodford Folk Festival


Can the cultural establishment minimise the anxiety of losing its “whiteness” and decolonise by rethinking the raison d’être of the stranger, bringing together diverse stakeholders and their tangible and intangible heritage into an inclusive fabric? This talk is a brief interrogation of that existential dilemma and understanding the stranger.


Seventeenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

The seventeenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco in Rabat (Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses) from 28 November to 3 December 2022.

H.E. Mr Samir Addahre, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Kingdom of Morocco to UNESCO, chaired this annual gathering attended by representatives of 129 States Parties, 111 non-governmental organizations, cultural institutions and other stakeholders from across the globe.

30th anniversary of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme: Transforming knowledge for just and sustainable futures

Addressed the
30th anniversary of the UNITWIN / UNESCO Chairs Programme: Transforming knowledge for just and sustainable futures

inDivisible: Museums as Sites for Safeguarding Intangible & Tangible Heritage

Delivered a Public Lecture at University in Jeonju on ‘inDivisible: Museums as Sites for Safeguarding Intangible & Tangible Heritage’. The department of Intangible Heritage organised the lecture.