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Morna as a World Heritage Site goes through supports, events and secrets

One year after applying for morna to Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Cape Verde is divided between gathering support, preparing events, like a show at UNESCO in Paris, and backstage work in the “secret of the gods.

On March 26, 2018, Cape Verde presented the candidature of this musical genre, considered the most representative of Cape Verdean being and feeling, at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) ).

The organization did not make any repairs and expectations for the music immortalized by voices like Francisco Xavier da Cruz, better known by B. Léza, Cesária Évora, Titina, Bana, Ildo Lobo, Tito Paris, among many others, obtain the classification, as happened with fado in Portugal in 2011.

In addition, Cape Verde had the support of Portugal in this process, with Paulo Lima – a researcher from the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the New University of Lisbon and involved in the Portuguese applications winning fado, “cante alentejano” and part of the rattle – technically advised the candidature Cape Verdean.





Other supports are still in the secret of the gods, namely the names of personalities who have already expressed their pleasure with this candidacy and will soon be known, depending on the Cape Verdean strategy for this election, the president of the Institute of Heritage Cultural (IPC) of Cape Verde, Hamilton Jair Fernandes.

It is a backstage work that can not be revealed in the light of such an application. We will then have the opportunity to publicly state the names not only of the friendly countries behind this process but also of institutions and individuals who have accompanied this process, “he said.

For now, it is only possible to reveal the work done “until the delivery of the dossier,” he said.

However, Jair Fernandes pointed out the two strategies that began to be developed this year, of which the first one “has to do with a more technical strategy of implementing the lukewarm agenda.

This is the “operationalization of the safeguard plan contained in the application dossier” and which presupposes “activities with schools, the community warm (artists, music houses), but also creating various points and circuits related to morna, supporting initiatives of the city councils in the creation of centers of interpretation linked to the morna, houses of morna, but also a themed circuit: the return of Cesária Évora and other interpreters and composers of morna”.

All these activities are foreseen in the framework of the Warm Agenda, “to be implemented as of this year“, he said.

At the same time, he added, “there is a lot of work in cultural diplomacy, already underway by the Ministry of Culture and Creative Industries, involving as much as possible the countries of the various communities to which Cape Verde belongs, but also to those who decide that it is a very tight committee “.

If the message is not very well worked we can risk failure, but this is out of the question,” he said.

Diplomacy is also at the highest level in favour of the morna, involving the Prime Minister, the President of the Republic and other delegations from embassies scattered around the world to try to sensitize who decides.

Among the charms to be developed outside Cape Verde is “a great concert at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, with the aim of bringing the essence of Cape Verdean soul that is warm.

The president of the IPC is optimistic about this candidacy and promises that by July of this year will be revealed the steps that have been given under this application.

We are certain that it will culminate in the classification of morna as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity,” said Jair Fernandes, believing that one of the practical results of this classification will be a “greater dynamic“, namely the “spaces linked to morna“, as happened with fado in Portugal, which catapulted places like Alfama, Mouraria, Madragoa or Bairro Alto to the top of the preferences of tourists and also Lisbon.

In 2018, when the application was submitted to UNESCO, Cape Verde marked for the first time the National Day of Morna, established in February in the Cape Verdean Parliament.

The date chosen was December 3, the day Francisco Xavier da Cruz (B. Léza) was born, considered one of the greatest composers of the musical genre of the country.

The day was established with the aim of honouring all other composers, musicians and performers, to exalt and recognize their importance and to call the attention of the Cape Verdean society to the need of appreciation of the musical genre.

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