The Experiences of Traditional Craftsmanship in the Process of Covid-19 Pandemic

Tuzel B.

MILLI FOLKLOR, no.127, pp.87-100, 2020 (AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Sociological abstracts, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.87-100
  • Keywords: UNESCO, covid-19 pandemic, traditional craftsmanship, safeguarding, transmission
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: Yes


The Covid-19 pandemic changed the way of life of communities in a few months. The pandemic taught communities new ways of knowledge, accumulation and transmission in many new formats. Activities such as meetings, festivals, workshops etc. held in the cultural field were canceled/postponed. In these new lifestyles, new productions and activities have been needed in the cultural field in the world. Cooperation and solidarity gained importance due to the global nature of the pandemic. The necessity of evaluating the process emerged first in the national and then international field. For this reason, the coverage of stakeholders and participants in the pandemic process has also expanded. Various policies have been developed in all areas of the world and activities have been carried out in new contexts and spaces. In this process, the preservation, transmission processes and forms of the tradition craftsmanship have also changed. The master-apprentice relationship, realized by knee-string learning, was moved to the screens, and "screen" entered between the master and the apprentice. In order to maintain their income, masters used e-trade method. Some social and economic steps that support craftsmen have been taken. Credit and fund support that is going through with shareholders and supporting mechanisms that are for production and culture-art activities have been established. Tradition bearers and transmitters used online platforms to reach society and to continue to transmit the tradition. It has been possible to reach people from all over the world at the same time. The negative effects of the pandemic were tackled through various activities and online platforms, such as the masters' inability to sell tradition craftsmanship products, canceling / postponing their activities and training, and not being able to have income and not knowing what to do in leisure time. This article will examine how the tradition craftsmanship, one of the five areas of the Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, tackles the negative effects of the pandemic. Activities carried out by various institutions, organizations and artists, especially UNESCO, will be examined and the effects of the pandemic on tradition craftsmanship will be evaluated. UNESCO reports, websites, social media and online meetings have been used as data. While tradition craftsmanship products reflect the pandemic process, the transmission processes of the tradition also existed with the function of keeping people together. In the article, it is concluded that the traditional craftsmanship relieves people with the practices, brings people together in the pandemic process and gives them inspiration and hope. The traditional craftsmanship has functioned as a means of social recovery. While the projects and activities related to the traditional craftsmanship provide data on how the tradition is kept alive during the pandemic process, it provides forecasts about the safeguarding and transmission of the tradition after the pandemic. In the article, statistics of countries and stakeholder institutions and organizations' participation in projects are evaluated. It has been concluded that not every country has the same attention to the projects carried out in accordance with the spirit and principles of the Convention. During the pandemic process, it has been revealed that craftsmanship knowledge and skills have been updated according to new conditions and contexts.