We are pleased to award the Conserving Egyptian Coptic culture project £331,767
This two year project will create an archive of contemporary Coptic intangible cultural heritage whilst building local communities' capacity for long term heritage preservation.
The Coptic community of Egypt
Copts are the largest religious minority in the Middle East, and the largest Christian community in the region. Copts date back to approximately 48AD when Christianity is believed to have been brought to Egypt by St Mark the Evangelist. The Coptic Orthodox Church has a population of at least 7 million.
Violence and discrimination against the Coptic communities has intensified in recent years, with targeted attacks and destruction of their heritage. Warnings have been issued against places where Copts congregate, putting activities where Copts express their cultural heritage under direct threat (festivals, religious pilgrimages etc.)
Creating a visual archive of contemporary Coptic intangible heritage
In this project, a local advisory group will identify 12 Coptic communities to be studied. ‘Heritage Capturers’ will then work to identify, capture, document and preserve the intangible cultural heritage of these communities. An estimated 192 records will be created, accompanied by photograph and audio recordings, 16 of which will be made into ‘digital stories’ for public consumption.
Alongside this work, a programme of advocacy and education will be delivered, targeting Coptic Youth and local development agencies.