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IMP Project 2020 with all partners - photo credit Sophie_largeNuytten
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Workshop Intangible Heritage (in Dutch: Werkplaats immaterieel erfgoed / in short: WIE)

WIE is the organisation for living heritage in Flanders. The NGO is committed to sustaining and strengthening the power of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) at the heart of the contemporary, dynamic and diverse society. WIE is broadly networking for ICH both in Flanders and beyond, on the international level.  The organisation supports everyone involved in living heritage and aims to create the lively traditions and practices of tomorrow, with a collaborative approach and cross-fertilisation. Together with the government, they manage the website for ICH in Flanders: immaterieelerfgoed.be. WIE provides coaching, organises (networking) events, facilitates internships, works on knowledge building and sharing, and so on. To highlight some of its international efforts in the past few years, it led the ICH and Museums Project (IMP) and served as a member in the Evaluation Body of the UNESCO 2003 Convention (2019-2022). Currently, WIE is a partner to the Living Heritage Journeys project (2024-2027) in Europe, and to the current research project Crafting Futures (2024-2027).

Over the past decade, Workshop Intangible Heritage has been at the forefront of an innovative approach towards ICH and its added value in society. In this trajectory, crafts and craftsmanship have been important fields of development for the organization and its networking partners. They elaborated and contributed to a series of pilots, field studies and network development throughout the past decade, cumulating into new policies for living heritage and crafts in particular, such as the Flemish scholarships for crafts since 2018, or the Handmade in Brugge programme in the city of Bruges since 2013. Recently they collaborated in the filminglivingheritage.org Toolbox and Methodology for filming and documenting craftership, know-how, skills and other living heritage, and in 2023 they set up the first Crafts in Focus Festival in Belgium together with Wendy van Wilgenburgh and her team. Currently, WIE contributes to the strategic research project Crafting Futures. With the ICH networks and policies in Flanders, a possible Red List or Urgent Safeguarding list for crafts and living heritage is being explored for the years to come.

Jorijn Neyrinck (1978°) is the coordinator of Workshop Intangible Heritage. She’s also a facilitator for the UNESCO 2003 Convention, vice-chair of the Flemish UNESCO Commission in Belgium, and researcher at the University of Antwerp within the current research project Crafting Futures. Jorijn takes on a cultural broker and mediating role in the field among living heritage actors, policymakers, civil society, and academia.

Some of Jorijn’s other recent commitments are: coordinating the work on the webdossier ICH and sustainable tourism, co-organizing Wiki Loves Living Heritage (2023), acting as a Steering member of the European Network of Focal Points for the UNESCO 2003 Convention (ENFP), and as an advisory member in Tracks4Crafts (2023-2026).

Image credits: 1, 2, 3: Alain Meessen, 4 & 7: WIE, 5: Lukas Denuwelaere, 6: Sophie Nuytten

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