Information on the establishment of the UNESCO “Chair of “Ashug Shamshir” on folk music heritage and epic traditions” attached to the Institute of Folklore of ANAS
A new project was added to the services of First Vice-President of Azerbaijan, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva in the field of oral and musical traditions in the development of Azerbaijan-UNESCO relations. Thus, on the 30th of April in 2018 an official appeal was made to UNESCO for the opening of the UNESCO Chair of “Ashug Shamshir” on folk music heritage and epic traditions” under the Institute of Folklore of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences. Along with the goals and action plan of the department, the application documents provide information about the activities of the Institute of Folklore of ANAS and the legacy of Ashug Shamshir and letters of support from public organizations such as the National Commission of Azerbaijan for UNESCO, the Yunus Emre Institute, higher education institutions and public organizations of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia were attached. On the 24th of December in 2020 the UNESCO Secretary General gave a positive opinion on the application documents on the opening of the UNESCO Chair of “Ashug Shamshir” on folk music heritage and epic traditions under the Institute of Folklore of ANAS. This chair, named after the prominent Azerbaijani saz master Ashug Shamshir, is the first UNESCO Chair in the world in the field of epic traditions (storytelling), so it will play the role of a UNESCO chair, which is important not only for Azerbaijan, but also for the world. The chair will serve as an International Center for folk music and epic traditions of Azerbaijan, including the Institute of Folklore of ANAS.
The chair will not only attract the attention of international researchers to our folk music and epos, which include the rich cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, but will also allow to promote the heritage of Ashug Shamshir, a prominent representative of the oral and musical culture of Karabakh, an integral part of Azerbaijan.
It is necessary to note that UNESCO chairs are named the individuals in exceptional cases. In this context the purposeful work has been done by the Public Union of Azerbaijan's Ashug Shamshir Cultural Center since 2014 in connection with the Ashug Shamshir heritage in UNESCO.