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Tuesday, October 1 • 11:00am - 11:30am
The return of Malawian intangible cultural heritage: Tales given form for the next generation

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Folktales are a valuable and rich traditional culture of Malawians, central to customs and beliefs of people of Malawi. Unfortunately, there have not been any concerted efforts in the country to preserve these verbal arts traditions. Arts and cultural institutions entrusted with preservation of our traditions ignore verbal arts. The work of preservation is left to a few scholars and concerned individuals. However, these efforts rarely reach the larger public. They tend to end up as treaties and one-off publications, or in private manuscripts that gather dust or mould somewhere. This oral tradition is all but vanishing in recent years due to aging of community figures who can deliver live performances as well as changes in lifestyle. And because Malawi has made little effort to preserve the tradition, the unique culture of its ethnic groups is on the verge of extinction. Corporation, at the request of Malawi National Commission for UNESCO, GFCT/Rei Foundation and SONY, provided financial support, audiovisual recording equipment and technical training to preserve the Malawian cultural heritage before it disappears. This paper addresses the safari taken from 2012-2015 to identify people who can still narrate folktales in all 28 districts of the country; the phases done to document them as video and audio outputs; and analysis of their metadata. The document also addresses data standardisation from 2016-2018; creation of a repository for preservation and dissemination of folktales in 2019 and the impact made at national and international level since the initial stages of folktales project implementation.

avatar for Chimwemwe Sumani

Chimwemwe Sumani

Local Project Manager - Malawi, Rei Foundation Limited (RFL)
Chimwemwe Sumani is currently a Rei Foundation Limited (RFL) Local Project Manager for Malawi (consultant) responsible for all sound and audiovisual projects supported by RFL in the country. She has been an Information Technology Specialist and Head of the Information and Communication... Read More →

Tuesday October 1, 2019 11:00am - 11:30am BST
BenGLab 2

Attendees (7)