In the last fifteen years the Italian Ethnological Mission to Ghana (IEMG), established in 1956, has been supporting cultural cooperation projects aiming to the valorisation of natural and cultural heritage of the Nzema area (South-West Ghana). The long-term relationships between IEMG anthropologists and local actors have led representatives of Ghanaian communities and institutions to ask for a restitution of knowledge gathered throughout the years by researchers. In order to meet these requests, in mid-1990s IEMG opened the way to the international cooperation in the area, and promoted development projects focused on micro-credit. However, the restitution of ethnographic knowledge has mostly been achieved through the cultural cooperation project Fort Apollonia and the Nzemas. Community-based Management of Natural and Cultural Heritage, Western Region (2008-2011). Managed by COSPE NGO (Cooperation for the Development of Emerging Countries) in collaboration with IEMG and many Ghanaian institutional actors, this project culminated in in 2010 in the establishment of a museum-cultural centre. Today, the Fort Apollonia Museum of Nzema Culture and History plays a leading role in the safeguarding and valorisation of local heritage, as it is testified by its recent participation to a project – founded by the British Library and Sapienza University of Rome – concerning the conservation and digitization of archival documents belonging to Nzema traditional authorities. This project is part of a wider program aiming to the establishment of a digital archive including the documents related to Nzema chieftaincy as well as the research materials produced by IEMG scholars, currently being catalogued and digitized at Sapienza University of Rome. This paper will illustrate the main features of the ongoing ethnographic restitution process, focusing on synergetic interactions among anthropologists, local actors and NGOs. Thus, the authors will discuss how an academic Mission, within a specific area, can trigger development processes and then contribute to the shifting of development cooperation into cultural cooperation. Finally, they will point out the results of this multifaceted relation among academia, Ghanaian interlocutors and development operators, in terms of local empowerment.

The Italian Ethnological Mission to Ghana and Cultural Cooperation: Heritage-Making Processes in the Nzema Area (South-West Ghana).

Maltese, Stefano;
2014

Abstract

In the last fifteen years the Italian Ethnological Mission to Ghana (IEMG), established in 1956, has been supporting cultural cooperation projects aiming to the valorisation of natural and cultural heritage of the Nzema area (South-West Ghana). The long-term relationships between IEMG anthropologists and local actors have led representatives of Ghanaian communities and institutions to ask for a restitution of knowledge gathered throughout the years by researchers. In order to meet these requests, in mid-1990s IEMG opened the way to the international cooperation in the area, and promoted development projects focused on micro-credit. However, the restitution of ethnographic knowledge has mostly been achieved through the cultural cooperation project Fort Apollonia and the Nzemas. Community-based Management of Natural and Cultural Heritage, Western Region (2008-2011). Managed by COSPE NGO (Cooperation for the Development of Emerging Countries) in collaboration with IEMG and many Ghanaian institutional actors, this project culminated in in 2010 in the establishment of a museum-cultural centre. Today, the Fort Apollonia Museum of Nzema Culture and History plays a leading role in the safeguarding and valorisation of local heritage, as it is testified by its recent participation to a project – founded by the British Library and Sapienza University of Rome – concerning the conservation and digitization of archival documents belonging to Nzema traditional authorities. This project is part of a wider program aiming to the establishment of a digital archive including the documents related to Nzema chieftaincy as well as the research materials produced by IEMG scholars, currently being catalogued and digitized at Sapienza University of Rome. This paper will illustrate the main features of the ongoing ethnographic restitution process, focusing on synergetic interactions among anthropologists, local actors and NGOs. Thus, the authors will discuss how an academic Mission, within a specific area, can trigger development processes and then contribute to the shifting of development cooperation into cultural cooperation. Finally, they will point out the results of this multifaceted relation among academia, Ghanaian interlocutors and development operators, in terms of local empowerment.
Ghana; Nzema; Missione Etnogica Italiana in Ghana; Cooperazione culturale; Cooperazione internazionale; ONG; Restituzione; Fort Apollonia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/705369
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