The politics of intangible heritage and food fights in Western Asia


AYKAN BENTAHAR B.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HERITAGE STUDIES, cilt.22, sa.10, ss.799-810, 2016 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 22 Konu: 10
  • Basım Tarihi: 2016
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1080/13527258.2016.1218910
  • Dergi Adı: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HERITAGE STUDIES
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.799-810

Özet

This article critically examines the nationalistic uses to which UNESCO's 2003 Convention on intangible heritage is put in Western Asia by looking at the conflicts it initiated amongst the countries in the region over the ownership of shared culinary traditions. I first detail the conflict that has arisen between Armenia and Turkey over the ownership of kekek dish after its inscription in the Convention's Representative List on behalf of Turkey in 2011. Then I discuss the ownership conflicts over tolma dish and lavash bread that ensued in the region following the listing of kekek. Examined together, these cases demonstrate that while the Convention strongly influences the current processes of heritagization of food in Western Asia, these processes do not primarily serve the Convention's purposes of safeguarding intangible heritage and ensuring mutual appreciation of it. The Convention rather functions as a source of nationalism in the region to identify and legitimate transnational food traditions as national heritage and to prevent other countries from laying claims over them.