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Volume 82/83 (2015/2016)

Black Power, Brand Power: Brand-led Interpretations of Indigenous Intangible Cultural Heritage and Propositions for Sustainable Development

June 15, 2017


This paper analyzes Indigenous intangible cultural heritage (ICH) through a commercial filter. It makes the point that brand and Indigenous ICH are conceptually aligned, and this alignment then generates a commercial understanding of Indigenous ICH and its strategic importance. Using an Australian case study of Cape York Dreaming Track, this paper argues that brand-led interpretations of Indigenous ICH hold immense promise for sustainable development initiatives. It shows how a sustainable development project can integrate brand into its long-term targets, improving ethical engagement, cultural investment and the quality of access and benefit sharing agreements, defined at international law.