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Cultural Heritage in an ICT-dominated World

The superhighways of communications formed by the extraordinary expansion of the information and communications technologies (ICTs) offer us new opportunities and spaces to exchange, create, debate, act and expand our knowledge of the surrounding world, pushing out the horizon of our lives. Today the main focus of attention is on electronic trade and economic issues. However, the cultural aspects of development of ICTs are no less important in view of the consequences for human society and the role of ICTs in the globalization process.

ICTs relations with culture raise major questions, the first and foremost of these is whether the intensive use of ICTs will accelerate cultural homogenization headed by those who dominate the infrastructure and hence access, thereby causing the loss of cultural identities. Although there are reassuring signs that ICTs will foster respect for different types of cultural expressions and representation, will that be enough to encourage a creative cultural reshaping based on equality of access and new form of democratic participation by citizens?

A second major concern is that in purely market-oriented societies, culture circulation may become exclusively aligned to the exchange of goods with consequent restrictions on access to culture. But marketed cultural products are only a part of what is on the web. Public resources, individual creativity and non-profit community initiatives make up what may be termed cultural contents. Such initiatives are contributing to building up a huge new corpus of cultural knowledge that directly reflect the priorities and desires of different societies.

Although new forms of solidarity encourage the creation and circulation of cultural knowledge, will this equal sharing of a new corpus of cultural knowledge help to avert inequalities and tensions between cultural identities or conflicts that may result from them?

The answer to the question requires efforts to sustain cultural heritage and creative empowerment of cultural and linguistic communities in the news media. Today cultural products and initiatives have to cope with social demands. This calls for renewing collection-based knowledge. Cultural grounds (linguistic, religious and ethnic) thus provide the basis for collective initiatives to restructure social, economic and political action.

ICTs are obviously improving the individual’s ability to freely access knowledge generated outside traditional institutions and national systems. However, while conditions of knowledge production are changing, access to knowledge books and computer literacy – remains the key to inclusion and participation in the life of the nation.

Also, a new form of cultural knowledge is being created by on-line collaborative research experiences and more sensible approach to the cognitive aspects of the technology- culture relationship.

With ever-improving communications, the world is hearing a magnificent overture of cultural possibilities. People everywhere, however, are repositioning themselves in this vast global commons in order to preserve part of their traditions, while at the same time engaging in cultural exchanges and redefining their relationships with neighbours on this planet. So, therefore, I wish you all success your efforts to raise people’s awareness with regards to the cultural heritage.

This article is quoted from Iran’s Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN) . Read the original article written by Iftikhar Ali.

This article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

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