Roundtable on Ethical Approaches for Working with Traditional artists

Roundtable on Ethical Approaches for Working with Traditional artists

November 7th, 2020

Artists, entrepreneurs & stakeholders discussed the ethical ways of working with ICH communities.

A discussion on working together for the sustainability of intangible cultural heritage through an exploration of the symbiotic relationship between traditional communities and creative industry stakeholders was held on 6th Oct, 2020. The online discussion was joined by stakeholders like publications, galleries, art houses, film makers, festival organizers, cultural spaces, music industry.

The consultation focused around Art Codes, which were based on 2003 Convention’s ethical principles and were developed providing guidance on ethical approaches for working with the traditional artists and strengthen the mutual beneficial relationship between the traditional artists and the creative industry stakeholders. The art codes delineate about understanding and respecting ICH, bearers and practitioners, fairness in payment, sharing commercial benefits, attribution and acknowledgement of artists’ contribution and permission for usage of content and recording etc.

The participants said that the Art codes are structured way towards sustainable future for traditional art environment and has become an industry requirement. The Art Codes can also adopt good practices from the Australian aboriginal art which is very well defined. It is very important to build an eco-system around the code of ethics.Concerns about misrepresentation, appropriation and violating artists’ rights are there for a long time. The Art Codes help to generate awareness and to make the environment more inclusive by addressing those concerns. Having pledges can be good step to start with. Apart from cultural institutions other stakeholders like tourism agencies etc. also must come forward to share the responsibility.Art student must be sensitized about the rights of the traditional artists by the art institutes. General public must be sensitized through public institutes like museums, galleries etc. There is also a need to generate awareness about signing consent forms, taking prior permission before using images or information and respect the non-profit agreement of usage.


This research project, Heritage Sensitive Intellectual Property and Marketing strategies: India (HIPAMS - INDIA), is funded by the British Academy's Sustainable Development Programme, supported under the UK Government's Global Challenges Research Fund 2018-2021.