GCP2016: An ode to the year gone by

Not to boast, but the last six months of the GoUNESCO Content Internship program 2016 (GCP) were intensive, rigorous and a lot of fun. We selected 20 GCP interns out of 500 (or more) applicants who had applied for the internship from all over the world.

 Our interns were a diverse group who came from countries such as, Australia, Korea, Indonesia, India, Italy, Pakistan, and Spain. All of these students were associated with heritage and culture in one way or another. While some were studying heritage and cultural studies, others were full-fledged researchers and belonged to various fields such as architecture, library science among others.
To make sure that the GCP interns write on a wide range of topics, we decided to create heritage themes around arts and crafts, food, built heritage, and underwater heritage. Our aim was to make them think about heritage and culture around them. It was also to have them share their local heritage with us. The results were spellbinding.
The patience that goes into the preparation is not the only intriguing things about it, but also the communal efforts, known as Kimjang or Gimjang, now declared a UNESCO intangible heritage. Kimjang translates to shared labour by womenfolk to preserve vegetables into Kimchi.
Not only did we learn about their local heritage, we also discovered a number of never-known things about their heritage. Whether it was an article on the Peshawari Chappals or Kimchi from Korea or the wonderful Mapfura fruit from Zimbabwe or the traditional crafts of the indigenous tribes from Australia or the from Spain, it was fantastic.
The didgeridoo was used to accompany ceremonies, and this purpose continues to this day. However, the instrument is also played recreationally by Indigenous Australians, and non-Indigenous peoples. Many modern designs are considered non-traditional, as they often have different shapes and are made from non-traditional materials such as PVC.
We asked the interns to speak to their local communities and artisans, old and commercial building owners, to understand their perspective on protecting their local heritage and culture.
We also asked interns to discover and write about the public spaces in their inhabited cities.
Agnese runs a very tiny shop hidden in a neglected alley of Terracina’s historic centre; no signs, no lights to recall her presence, just a road sign that says “baked pastries” and an arrow.
There were minor hiccups in the process, sometimes. Our diverse group was spread over different countries around the world. Our mode of communication was email, Skype and WhatsApp.
But in the end, we received nothing but the best from them.
You can read the articles written by our interns from the July – Dec 2016 batch here.

This year, we have decided to go one step further and give the GCP interns an opportunity to perform several outdoor tasks and our themes have just got a little more interesting. However, one thing that will remain constant is writing well-rounded, research articles.Some of the GCP interns have decided to continue this association with us. Some of them have decided to take up coordinating, editing and reporting opportunities with GoUNESCO. We wish them all the best!

We hope that we continue to deliver on our motto of Making Heritage Fun in one way or another.

Happy Heritaging in 2017!


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