As mentioned in the methodology (Chapter 4), I encountered some difficulties during the data gathering phase of my research, which limited the variety of my interview participants (hence, this part is connected to the section above on limitations of the study).
For example, I was limited to participants who spoke either English or Italian and I was not able to find Egyptian participants, males and people under 30. Also, I was not able to do fieldwork in Egypt as I would have liked to.
Ownership and Availability of Online Dance Videos
Another problem, which I mentioned in Chapter 4 but that I would like to return to, is the availability of online videos of dance, on sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.
As already mentioned, these sites provide a wealth of precious data and give practitioners certain freedom to share.
However, videos can be removed either by the site or by the person sharing them. This is a caveat, of which anyone who wants to use online resources for their research needs to be mindful.
I would also like to mention the archive value of videos shared online, as well as their limitations, for the safeguarding of ICH (or living heritage).
Pietrobruno (2014, p. 756) notes that YouTube is used to share videos of ICH practices not only by UNESCO, but also by independent practitioners who ‘can counter ofﬁcial heritage narratives put forward by nation-states through UNESCO’.
This makes the safeguarding process more democratic. At the same time, however, Pietrobruno (2013, p. 1261) acknowledges that, since videos can be removed anytime by the users or by Google, ‘YouTube does not guarantee that videos uploaded can be conserved or protected’.
Official recognition by UNESCO could provide awareness and easier access to funding, for an official online video archive to be set up, which would help to safeguard important videos.
This video archive could involve the wider community and/or practitioners, to avoid ‘freezing’ of heritage or hegemony from the state.
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