"I feel it is my responsibility to stream”: Streaming and Engaging with Intangible Cultural Heritage through Livestreaming


Globalization has led to the destruction of many cultural practices, expressions, and knowledge found within local communities. These practices, defined by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), have been identified, promoted, and safeguarded by nations, academia, organizations and local communities to varying degrees. Despite such efforts, many practices are still in danger of being lost or forgotten forever. With the increased popularity of livestreaming in China, some streamers have begun to use livestreaming to showcase and promote ICH activities. To better understand the practices, opportunities, and challenges inherent in sharing and safeguarding ICH through livestreaming, we interviewed 10 streamers and 8 viewers from China. Through our qualitative investigation, we found that ICH streamers had altruistic motivations and engaged with viewers using multiple modalities beyond livestreams. We also found that livestreaming encouraged real-time interaction and sociality, while non-live curated videos attracted attention from a broader audience and assisted in the archiving of knowledge.

In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'19)