National Museum of Iran, Tehran
The International Expert Panel on West and Central Asian Ethnic and Nowrouz Dolls and Puppets was the second international expert gathering on the annual action plan of Tehran ICH Centre. The Expert Panel was programmed as part of a larger national Iranian programme to celebrate Nowrouz, the West and Central Asian festival of the new year. The theme had been selected for its diverse values including the determining roles of women and children, its function as a shared heritage of the region, its capacities to promote tolerance and rapprochement, its varied aspects that cover almost all of the ICH domains, etc. The three day event was hosted by the National Museum of Iran, and the participating countries included Afghanistan, Armenia, Indonesia, Iran, Kirgiz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. It was an extensive event that was widely celebrated, especially by women, children, and families, included expert panels, presentations, discussion forums, indoor and outdoor cultural performances, international puppet exhibition, ICH photo exhibition, workshops, video presentations, and live doll-making practices. The other outstanding feature of the Expert Panels was the wide participation of a number of Iranian and regional NGOs, each with their specific exhibition spaces, workshops, and live performances. The other participating governmental partners included Directorate for NGOs, Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), Deputy for Human Resources, ICHHTO, and Deputy for Cultural Heritage, ICHHTO.
The PGILH participation consisted of the following:
- Expert presentations (Dr. Janet Blake);
- Moderating Expert Panels (Dr. Janet Blake);
- Exhibition design, equipment, and management (Mr. Mohammad Reza Miri);
- Revitalization of the Art of Making Scarecrows (Ms. Katherine Azami with Mohebali Family);
- Publication of ‘Nowrouz Dolls and Puppets’, a Children’s Book with Poems, published in collaboration with Puppet and Toy Museum of Kashan (Ms. Katherine Azami).