Research agreement: local culture and global citizenship

ECOPER and Nemesis Association collaborate in the monitoring of local cultural heritage in cosmopolitan or anti-cosmopolitan discourses through big data analysis techniques…

Culture is and has always been a meeting place for people and groups of diverse social and geographic origin, so that the promotion of the cultural heritage of a given territory is always accompanied by the recognition of cultural exchanges with other territories and the enhancement of cross-border historical links. This reality favors the work of organizations such as UNESCO that work to promote cultural expressions and their diversity with a cosmopolitan perspective and in line with the Sustainable Development Agenda. However, local cultural heritage is also used in a partisan way to spread xenophobic messages and build an anti-cosmopolitan discourse, even confronting the very existence of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Nemesis is an association formed by professionals from various institutions and disciplines for the research and defense of cultural heritage. Founded in 2017, it has worked especially against the plundering and illicit trafficking of archaeological heritage. Recently, its members have initiated a line of reflection and analysis on the misuse of local cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, in the political discourse.

ECOPER, as a consulting firm dedicated to international cooperation for sustainable development, has been working since 2021 on the use of artificial intelligence algorithms and big data analysis for the monitoring of the 2030 Agenda and its impact on national policies. These techniques have been used in evaluations in the field of culture and city-to-city cooperation. In these analyses, it is determined the extent to which the ideas of the 2030 Agenda permeate various public policies at the national level and how the activity of certain international actors, such as United Nations agencies, influence this permeability.

ECOPER and Nemesis are collaborating to (1) complement cosmopolitan dictionaries with anti-cosmopolitan dictionaries in line with political science studies on nationalist populism, (2) identify local cultural expressions and elements of the intangible heritage of cities and regions susceptible to be used in one sense or another, (3) measure the internet conversation of a given territory coinciding with moments of local heritage promotion.

As a first case study, ECOPER and Nemesis have analyzed the internet conversation in Granada (Spain) around the local festivities of “the taking of Granada”.