Press Office


Safeguarding heritage exhibition


An exhibition encouraging the protection of traditional cultural heritage, expressions and products under threat is on show at the Great North Museum: Hancock from 10 January until 1 February 2015.

An ambitious global project by Newcastle University to help preserve cultural heritage ‘at risk’ across the globe is coming to an end.

The En-compass project exhibition includes four themes: food; clothing and textiles; adornment and decoration; and performance.
Objects on display come from the four partner countries - Hainan (China), the UK (Northumberland), Guyana and Kenya – and other parts of the world. Local Northumberland items on display include decorated walking sticks, traditional dancing clogs and proggy mats.

The small team of researchers in the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies have also worked with partners from around the world to create an international database which will not only be used to record cultural information but will also serve as a practical tool to document culture out in the field.

“As far as we are aware, this is the first time something like this has been attempted,” said Dr Aron Mazel, who co-led the project with colleague Gerard Corsane. “There are other databases out there, but nothing this extensive that can also be used as a collection tool.

“This is not simply an academic pursuit; it involves working with people on the ground to ensure important cultural heritage is preserved for generations to come.”

Eight international MA studentships in Heritage Studies at Newcastle University were also awarded during the project for students from China, Guyana, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Heritage safeguarding training workshops for heritage and museum professionals and community stakeholders were held in China, Kenya and Guyana.

Newcastle University’s partner organisations in the En-Compass Project are the Hainan Provincial International Cultural Exchange Centre  (China), Iwokrama International Centre (Guyana), and the Centre for Heritage Development in Africa (Kenya). The €950,000 project was funded by the European Commission.

For more information please visit the project website.

published on: 12 January 2015