The Expert Meeting on Music and Textile Themes of the Interactive Atlas was held from 12 to 13 September 2018 in Margilan, Ferghana Valley, Uzbekistan. It was organized under the auspices of the UNESCO Office in Tashkent, the National Commission for the Republic of Uzbekistan, and in close collaboration with the government of Uzbekistan. This included the Governor’s Office of the Ferghana Province, and the Municipality of City of Margilan, amongst others. Comprised of renowned international and Uzbek experts, the meeting took place within the framework of the 4th edition of the Festival of Traditional Textile “Atlas Bayrami” (“Celebrating Atlas”), from 11-15 September.
The primary goal of this gathering of experts was to support the development and exchange of cultural elements throughout regions along the historic Silk Roads. These included the exchange of goods and knowledge regarding textile development, music, and traditional craftsmanship – just some of the various themes integral to the Interactive Atlas. This highly innovative initiative will implement the most advanced technology to map the historicity, diversity, and complexity of the Silk Roads common heritage. Technology such as this will serve to create long-lasting legacies of exchange, dialogue, and cooperation, which is a potential basis for peace and sustainable development.
Weekend events included the official Opening Ceremony of the Atlas Bayrami Festival, as well as an International Scientific Conference presented by Mr. José Maria Chiquillo, President of UNESCO’s International Network for the Silk Roads. The conference was entitled, “The Silk Roads as a Phenomenon of the Interaction of Eastern and Western Culture: Hangzhou, Margilan, Valencia”. Furthermore, the Traditional Textiles Exhibition, “The Silk Roads: Continuing Traditions”, officially launched. Fostering positive dialogue, as well as promoting intangible cultural heritage, and its transmission to future generations through mutual understanding, were key outcomes of this Expert Meeting.