13. Flamenco for Andalusia, Flamenco for Humanity: Regionalisation and Intangible Cultural Heritage in Spain
Matthew Machin-Authenrieth [+]
University of Cambridge
In 2010, UNESCO declared flamenco as Intangible Cultural Heritage. While the inscription recognises flamenco as a Spanish cultural heritage, the tradition is most commonly associated with the autonomous region of Andalusia. As such, flamenco’s UNESCO status is intertwined with regional identity politics in Spain. The Andalusian Government has instrumentalised the inscription for its own project of regional identity building. This chapter examines the impact of the inscription on regional music policy in Andalusia. As is argued here, there is a need to look beyond the nation-state as the main level of analysis in processes of ‘heritagization’. The flamenco case study illustrates how heritage declarations are tied up with intersecting local, regional, national and international politics. The chapter analyses the effects of the inscription at an institutional level, focusing on Andalusia’s own heritage inventories, the education system and the culture industry. However, it also examines localised points of conflict that have emerged from the inscription. Drawing on the zambra, a local context and sub-genre in Granada, it is argued here that flamenco’s regional development under the branding of UNESCO heritage, runs the risk of stifling local flamenco diversity at the expense of a unified Andalusian tradition.