A New Collaboration: Local Contexts

by | Jul 1, 2023 | Articles

A New Collaboration 

We are delighted to unveil a thrilling partnership between the Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts and Local Contexts, forged on a mutual dedication to honoring and safeguarding Indigenous cultural heritages. This collaborative partnership allows the Coe to integrate Local Contexts’ protocols that aid us in promoting reverence for Indigenous communities’ viewpoints and entitlements, nurturing a conscientious approach to cultural materials.

The Coe and Local Contexts have already begun this exciting collaborative journey. We look forward to gaining invaluable insights from Local Contexts and the communities we engage with. Together, our objective is to empower communities, bridge existing gaps, and grow overall awareness and understanding.

Local Contexts is a groundbreaking initiative to connect communities with their rich cultural heritage, ensuring diverse voices are heard and respected. It powerfully embraces inclusivity, promotes cultural understanding, and fosters collaboration.

Local Contexts’ Labels, including the TK, “Traditional Knowledge,” and “Notices,” are at the heart of this initiative. Developed through sustained partnerships and testing within Indigenous communities across multiple countries, these Labels and Notices provide a unique opportunity for communities to express their local and specific conditions for sharing and engaging in future research and relationships for each artwork. The Labels and Notices give Indigenous communities ownership to define protocols for using, sharing, and circulating knowledge and data. The ultimate intention for Labels, which are public facing, is that they physically accompany each piece and appear in social media posts and websites.

The “TK” Labels are essential for including local protocols for accessing and using cultural heritage that digitally circulates outside community contexts. They help identify and clarify community-specific rules and responsibilities regarding access and future use of traditional knowledge, encompassing sacred and ceremonial materials, gender-restricted materials, seasonal conditions of use, and outreach-specific materials.

Each community has the opportunity to customize the “TK” Label text, providing specificity and context. The title of each “TK” Label can be translated into multiple languages and displayed. However, each “TK” Label design or logo never changes to ensure national and international recognition and integrity across various content and collection management systems, online repositories, websites, and physical exhibits.

We invite you to explore Local Contexts’ website at https://localcontexts.org to learn more.

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