19 October 2021     Interesting facts 

In accordance to the pandemic, which caused problems in the activity of folklore groups, formations and communities that are preserving the intangible cultural heritage, the European Association of Folklore Festivals - EAFF held an online survey on the subject "What are you interested in?". The survey includes 23 questions related to the current problems in the creative process and was held in the period September 27th - October 10th, 2021.

Digital questionnaire was completed by performers, directors of dance groups, community centers, artistic directors, choreographers and managers of groups from Bulgaria, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Indonesia, Iran, Burundi, Puerto Ricko and Uzbekistan.

Processing of the results obtained thanks to the empirical study presented us with the information that 85.33% of the respondents indicated the topic of folklore and health as very relevant for them.

The written set of questions informs that according to 82.3% of the participants the preservation of folklore art is extremely important.

The fact-finding method also found that 87.86% distinguish the topic of cultural policy in their country as very important. The same percentage, 86% present the data from the question related to the importance of the topic for the management of the activity of the folklore groups.

76.7% of the respondents mark the idea of folklore education as very important. To the question "What is your preferred way of learning in the field of folklore art?" 84.8% of the participants answered in presence, 12.13% - mixed, and only 3.03% - online.

The survey reveals that 86.6% of those involved consider the advice and good practices in the field as very important, but also 87.6% mark the promotion of folklore art as a very important case.

The question "How familiar are you with the activities and measures of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO?" is reported that 50% of respondents are familiar with the application of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.

45% of the respondents indicated that they are interested in news related to folklore on a weekly basis, 42% - on a daily basis, and 12% - on a monthly basis.

The usefulness of participation in local, national and international festivals and competitions: respondents note that their participation in international competitions and festivals without a competitive nature is leading - 67%, without underestimating local and national events.

35% rated their participation in online competitions in the field of folklore art as very useful, and 55% as useful.

76% of the respondents noted that they have great financial difficulties related to their activities for the preservation of cultural heritage. 9% have financial difficulties and only 15% rather do not experience financial difficulties.

To the question "Would you participate in a specialized fundraising platform to support your or the group's activities in the field of preservation and transmission of cultural heritage?" - 88.8% of those who participated in the survey answered positively the highest indicator according to the system for measuring.

There is a prevailing view in the open-ended fields that the main challenges and problems faced by participants are related to "transport difficulties and fundraising for events". Topics of interest to respondents include "folklore customs and legends of antiquity", "participation in projects for the preparation of halls and the purchase of costumes", "the provision of financial support for the preservation of groups" and "overcoming the difficulties associated with visas for international events".

Respondents also made suggestions regarding "educational policy in schools - the study of ethnic and spiritual roots", "better communication and more discussions related to the problems of dissemination of folklore", as well as "financial support for developing art ”.

As a general conclusion from the study, experts from the European Association of Folklore Festivals - EAFF report that due to the pandemic situation, participants explain several major problems related to the preservation and transmission of intangible cultural heritage. Although the importance of preserving and popularizing folklore is highly valued, there are difficulties in their implementation. First of all, the low financial security of the groups, insufficient communication outside the group meetings during participation in competitions, festivals and events, insufficient training program in the field of folklore management groups and low awareness of the implementation programs of the Convention for the Preservation of Intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO.