International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Minutes of 15th Assembly of ICTM National and Regional Representatives

Held at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, on 15 July 2019. Chair: Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco. In attendance: Antti-Ville Kärjä (Chair of NC for Finland), Sverker Hyltén-Cavallius (Chair of NC for Sweden), Marílio Wane (LO for Mozambique), Wim van Zanten (standing in for Evert Bischop Boele, LO for The Netherlands), Don Niles (standing in for Naomi Faik-Simet, LO for Papua New Guinea), Kanykei Mukhtarova (LO for Kyrgyzstan), Klaus Näumann (Vice Chair of NC for Germany), Kiku Day (standing in for Eva Fock, Chair of NC for Denmark), Hyelim Kim (standing in for Shzr Ee Tan, Chair of NC for UK), Naila Ceribašić (standing in for Irena Miholić, Chair of NC for Croatia), Žanna Pärtlas (LO for Estonia), Helena Simonett (Secretary of NC for Switzerland), Phạm Minh Hương (Chair of NC for Vietnam), Susanne Fürniss (Chair of NC for France), Domenico Staiti (Chair of NC for Italy), Lee Schu-Chi (Chair of RC for Taiwan), Essica Marks (LO for Israel), Teona Lomsadze (LO for Georgia), Zuzana Jurkova (LO for Czech Republic), Catherine Grant (Chair of RC for Australia and New Zealand), Filip Petkovski (standing in for Velika Stojkova Serafimovska, Chair of NC for Northern Macedonia), Kim Hee Sun (standing in for Sheen Dae-Cheol, Chair of NC for the Republic of Korea), Juan Sebastián Rojas (LO for Colombia), Adriana Cerletti (standing in for Silvia Citro, LO for Argentina), Enrique Cámara de Landa (standing in for Francisco García Gallardo, Chair of NC for Spain), Helen Lawlor (incoming Chair of NC for Ireland), Ammamuthu Ponnambalam Rajaram (standing in for Urmimala Sarkar Munsi, LO for India), Cara Stacey (LO for Eswatini), Xiao Mei (Chair of NC for China), Pornprapit Phoasavadi (incoming LO for Thailand), Lois Anderson (stepping in for Athena Katsanevaki, LO for Greece), Beatriz Herrera (standing in for Matthias Stöckli, LO for Guatemala), Judith Klassen (Chair of NC for Canada), Hande Sağlam (Chair of NC for Austria), Anda Beitāne (LO for Latvia), Ardian Ahmedaja (LO for Albania), Marie Agatha Ozah (standing in for Austin Emielu (LO for Nigeria), Lasanthi Manaranjanie Kalinga Dona (LO for Sri Lanka), Ikbal Hamzaoui (standing in for Anas Ghrab, LO for Tunisia), Waseda Minako (Liaison with ICTM of NC for Japan), Anaïs Verhulst (standing in for Anne Caufriez, LO for Belgium), Lilit Yernjakyan (standing in for Tatevik Shakhkulyan, LO for Armenia), Svanibor Pettan (standing in for Mojca Kovačič, Chair of NC for Slovenia), Connie Lim Keh Nie (standing in for Clare Chan Suet Ching, LO for Malaysia); Ursula Hemetek (Secretary General), Carlos Yoder (Executive Assistant). 

Opening of the meeting

  1. Castelo-Branco opened the meeting at 17:00.
  2. Castelo-Branco explained the significance of the meeting of the Assembly, stressing its crucial role in ensuring a plurality of voices in the Nomination Committee of the next ICTM elections. 

Minutes of the previous meeting

  1. Castelo-Branco called for a motion to approve the Minutes of the 14th Assembly of ICTM National and Regional Representatives, as published on the ICTM website. Moved by van Zanten, seconded by Pettan, motion carried.


  1. The attendees briefly introduced themselves, their represented countries/regions, and their institutions.

Business arising from Executive Board meetings of interest to the Assembly

  1. Castelo-Branco presented a new format for the present meeting, which had been communicated to the members of the Assembly via e-mail a few weeks before. In order to maximize the exchange of knowledge and experiences among the members of the World Network, individual oral reports would not be included in the agenda. Instead the discussion would focus around two topics, introduced each by one National Representative.

Main topic for discussion #1: “Collaboration Models Among Representatives”

  1. Beitāne (Latvia) thanked Castelo-Branco and Hemetek for the invitation to open the discussion. She introduced the topic, arguing that the meeting represented a "historical moment" for the assembly and for the Council.
  2. Beitāne proposed to discuss two ideas that would encourage collaboration among the representatives: (1) holding seminars or workshops for National and Regional representatives to share experiences and good practices; and (2) making use of the World Network to find partners for common projects. 
  3. Näumann (Germany) related how the NC for Germany had organized joint symposia with other NCs in the past, and announced that in 2020 they would hold in Halle (Salle) a joint symposium with the NCs for Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia.
  4. Mukhtarova (Kyrgyzstan) reported that she and other ICTM representatives from Central Asia had already started to discuss any possible means of collaboration, as it was particular difficult to work separately. She added that, as a relatively new representative, she would be very glad to hear more ideas for establishing lasting bonds of cooperation. 
  5. Simonett (Switzerland) reported that the NC for Switzerland joins the conference of a different sister society every other year, in order to reduce organizational costs. She added that in 2018 they joined the meeting of the German-speaking Branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM-D-A-CH), which was held in Bern. 
  6. Ozah (Nigeria) announced that the ICTM members based in Nigeria were trying to collaborate with the Association of Nigerian Musicologists in co-hosting a meeting with them. 
  7. Sağlam (Austria) related how the NC for Austria had organized in 2016 a joint meeting with the NCs of Switzerland and Germany, and how their policy was to host an international symposium every other year. She invited all to attend the 2019 symposium, which would focus on the work of PhD students. 
  8. Petkovski (North Macedonia), reported that members of the NC for North Macedonia had taken part in the project Network of UNESCO Recognised Values along with organizations from Latvia, Estonia, and Georgia. He described it as a possibility for ICTM members to exchange knowledge on matters of Intangible Cultural Heritage and related topics, as well as a chance to network with similar organizations across Europe. 
  9. Kärjä (Finland) enquired whether ICTM resources (financial, strategic, or otherwise) were available to members of the World Network. Hemetek replied that the Secretariat had just unveiled a new mechanism for financially supporting Study Group symposia held in underrepresented regions, and that such an initiative had been "a first step." Hemetek admitted that funding special meetings of ICTM National Committees had not yet been considered, and thanked Kärjä for the suggestion. 
  10. Hemetek remarked that all the funds that ICTM operated (i.e., the Barbara Barnard Smith Travel Award, the Maud Karpeles Fund, and the Young Scholars Fund) were fuelled by whatever operational surplus would be left at the end of fiscal years. Therefore, their bottom lines were directly tied to the membership fees collected by the Secretariat in any given year. 
  11. Day (Denmark) reported that it had been "a struggle" for some National Committees to operate, including the one she represented. She called for a joint collaboration of some sort among the Nordic countries, which were strongly represented both in the World Conference and at the present meeting.
  12. Castelo-Branco related how in 2007 members of the NCs for Portugal and Spain had met during the ESEM conference, which had been held in Lisbon. She considered this to be a convenient and cost-effective method of meeting with other NCs. 
  13. Klassen (Canada) suggested that NCs could connect more efficiently if they linked to each other's websites, and related how in Canada the large geographical distances had prompted the Canadian Society for Traditional Music to consider holding their general conferences biennially, and to hold smaller regional conferences in the off years. 
  14. Grant (Australia and New Zealand) agreed with Klassen's proposal to systematically organize and link the websites of NCs, compiling them into a multinational online directory. 
  15. Herrera (Guatemala) enquired about the relationship between the Council and institutions (e.g., universities), especially with those that fund the participation of their researchers/faculty in ICTM events. Castelo-Branco considered that is was "natural relationship" between ICTM and universities, as faculty members would recruit new members into the Council, and the institutions would host Study Group symposia, ICTM Colloquia, etc. 
  16. Castelo-Branco related how it was common for members of neighbouring NCs to communicate only during large international events such as ICTM World Conferences. She considered there was great potential for fostering communication across borders and generating synergies by organizing joint meetings of multiple National Committees.
  17. Ceribašić (Croatia) considered that, in addition to publishing reports in the Bulletin, National and Regional Representatives could ask their community members to select a few topics they would be interested in developing, so that in the future it might be possible to explore the possibility of drafting joint activities with other countries/regions that would share similar interests.
  18. Lim (Malaysia) announced that two days earlier all the Malaysian members present at the conference had decided to form a National Committee. 

Main topic for discussion #2: “Experiences When Representing National Interests in International Societies”

  1. Kalinga Dona (Sri Lanka) thanked Castelo-Branco and Hemetek for the invitation to open the discussion on the second main topic. She introduced the topic, quoting the roles of National and Regional Representatives from the Statues and the Memorandum on National and Regional Committees, and posed the following questions to the floor: 
    1) How does spreading of knowledge about the Council and its activities affect your own national or regional environments and how do national or regional specifics affect your work as an ICTM representative? 
    2) Do the current ICTM documents and examples of self-emerging praxis (for instance, occasional scholarly meetings of two or more committees) sufficiently benefit you in your work as a liaison between your region and ICTM?
    3) Can you think of any experiences from your work in other scholarly societies with potentially positive impact for your work in ICTM?   
  2. Stacey (Eswatini) related how jobs in her part of the world were becoming increasingly fewer. She considered that because travelling within Africa (a vast expanse of land with underdeveloped air routes) was so expensive, finding technological innovations that would allow remote presentations and scholarship should be "a more pressing issue." She pointed to a panel that discussed such innovations during the 2017 ICTM World Conference in Limerick, Ireland. 
  3. Lawlor (Ireland) explained that in Ireland they had struggled to find ways to keep members paying the fees to the regional chapter of an international society. One such successful way had been the production of a short podcast series which showcased the activities of the NC, as well as raising the profile of Irish scholars. 
  4. Castelo-Branco related how when she arrived in Portugal in 1982, it had been extremely difficult to convince the authorities of her university that ethnomusicology and ethnochoreology were viable disciplines in the field of music studies. During her first years she mostly trained younger scholars in ethnomusicological practices, as there was "no ethnomusicology to speak of" in Portugal. She mentioned how the most important turning point had been the holding of the ICTM Colloquium "Cross Cultural Processes in Music: The Role of Portugal in the World's Music since the 15th Century" in 1986, which brought some of the most prominent scholars in ethnomusicology to Lisbon to discuss a topic that was meaningful to the local academic community. 
  5. Pettan (Slovenia) observed how the Council's mission was not only about scholarship, but also about peace building. He related how the war in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s had all but shattered the possibilities for cooperation among scholars from the now-independent postwar republics. In that context he praised the work of the NC for Bosnia and Herzegovina (the country which had been most affected by the war), which had organized many events, published audiovisual materials, and built bridges in the region, all under the banner of ICTM. 
  6. Pettan (Slovenia) reminded the assembled that the Council's Fora, the newest kind of ICTM scholarly gathering, were events designed to create and strengthen bonds with sister societies.
  7. Kalinga Dona (Sri Lanka) pointed out that the next symposium of the Study Group on Music and Allied Arts of Greater South Asia would be held in Sri Lanka. She considered it a unique opportunity to bring together scholars from South Asia (who normally do not talk to each other), and recognized ICTM as the enabling body of this new communication. 
  8. Niles (Papua New Guinea) expressed concern that in a conference attended by delegates from 76 countries, only 44 countries or regions were present at the Assembly. He considered that elected representatives should make every effort to attend the meeting themselves, or to designate deputies instead. 
  9. Mukhtarova (Kyrgyzstan) related how in post-Soviet countries, where the vast majority of academic activities are carried out within the context of state conservatories, it was very helpful if ICTM would send official letters supporting the organization of events. She added that it is "very hard to do anything without patronage."
  10. Verhulst (Belgium) explained how there was no official studies of ethnomusicology in Belgium, meaning that colleagues carried out ethnomusicological work in the contexts of museums, heritage organizations, etc. She asked the floor for ideas on how to raise awareness of the discipline both within and without academic circles.
  11. Castelo-Branco remarked the importance of carrying out ethnomusicological and ethnochoreological work outside of academia, as working without being subject to an academic programme would often create many new bridges with other communities. As an example she cited the work of Naila Ceribašić within UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage programme. 
  12. Wane (Mozambique) related his positive experience in collaborating with producers of music festivals in Mozambique, as another way to disseminate ideas about ethnomusicology in a space where it is not officially taught in universities. 

Appointment of two members to the Nomination Committee of the 2021 ICTM Elections

  1. After outlining the responsibilities of the members of the Nomination Committee, Castelo-Branco asked for two volunteers to join the Nomination Committee of the 2021 ICTM Elections.
  2. Lawlor and Stacey volunteered to serve on the Nomination Committee, while Rajaram (India) communicated Urmimala Sarkar Munsi's (LO for India) wish to serve as well.  Both Lawlor and Stacey expressed they would be willing to stand down in order to let Sarkar serve on the Committee, but after a long discussion it was agreed to prioritize those volunteers who were present at the Assembly. 
  3. Castelo-Branco called for a motion to appoint Helen Lawlor and Cara Stacey to the Nomination Committee of the 2021 ICTM Elections. Moved by Day, seconded by Fürniss, motion carried.

Other business

  1. No other business was discussed.


  1. Castelo-Branco called for a motion to adjourn the 15th Assembly of ICTM National and Regional Representatives. Moved by van Zanten, seconded by Klassen. Meeting adjourned at 18:16.

We hereby certify that this document comprises the Minutes of 15th Meeting of the Assembly of ICTM National and Regional Representatives, held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 15 July 2019, and that its contents have been examined by us and that to the best of our knowledge and belief the content thereof is true, correct, and complete.

Ursula Hemetek, Secretary General

Carlos Yoder, Executive Assistant