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Building Peace and Social Cohesion through Safeguarding the Living Cultural Heritage of South Sudan’s Diverse Ethnic Communities


Ten South Sudanese participants in a two‐week UNESCO workshop in Juba have been trained to lead community‐based inventories and document the expressions and practices, knowledge and skills of the diverse ethnic groups in South Sudan as part of an effort to safeguard the country’s intangible cultural heritage.

Following South Sudan’s ratification of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2016, the UNESCO Office in Juba organized from 3 to 12 May 2018 a workshop to train national experts in safeguarding their intangible cultural heritage, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. Participants of the workshop ranged from national authorities responsible for Culture in South Sudan to NGOs, foundations and community activists.

The participants of the workshop were exposed to both theoretical and practical exercises in implementing the Convention in South Sudan and inventorying elements of intangible cultural heritage. Sessions ranged from understanding the various domains of intangible cultural heritage to various safeguarding measures. “This workshop is a first step towards mobilizing communities across South Sudan in coming together to identify the diverse characteristics that make up our cultural identities and together form our nation’s cultural heritage,” said Mr. Edward Jubara, Director of Archives and Antiquities at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.