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Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is increasingly subjected to social, economic and political pressures in the light of neo-liberal developments and dispossessing, neo-colonial discourses of domination perpetuated by cultural heritage politics.
In response, respective legal regimes have been established addressing alienation from those practising ICH, namely cultural bearers and ultimately holders of cultural rights. However, the very nature of such instruments and safeguarding standards may not fully grant non-discriminatory access to its protection regimes being disintegrated from general human rights standards. This may, in turn, result in new patterns of inequalities causing detrimental, adverse impacts on specific groups of communities and individuals.
This study disentangles such dynamics and sheds light on both endangered ICH elements and its practitioners. Similarly, it traces agency-driven, empowering ICH practice responding to current patterns of cultural imposition oriented towards plural identity recognition while discovering spaces of contestation.