World Day for Audiovisual Heritage: Theme, History and Importance

Audiovisual archives tell us stories from the past and present about culture and people's life from across the globe. Here is why World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is important and why we must preserve our audiovisual archives.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, October 26, 2022, 08:13 PM IST
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Audiovisual archives tell us stories from the past and present about culture and people's life from across the globe. They offer a priceless heritage for future generations to cherish and learn about our history and each other.

The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (WDAH) is celebrated every year on October 27 to strengthen the actions for the protection and promotion of audiovisual heritage worldwide and to pay tribute to all those who have contributed to its preservation and development. The theme for this year is "Enlisting documentary heritage to promote inclusive, just and peaceful societies."

History of World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

Before we go into the details of the theme let's understand the history. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA) collaborated to bring the day into existence on October 27.

The CCAAA was formed after UNESCO's 1980 'Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images'. This initiative urged different institutions and associations to work together and preserve archives. It resulted in the Roundtable of Audiovisual Records that included organisations like the International Council or Archives (ICA) and International Federation of Library Associations and Institution (IFLA).

Initially it was decided that a Joint Technical Symposium will be held every year but that was not enough more needed to be done.

The first World Day for Audiovisual heritage was celebrated on October 27 2005. This year the celebration of WDAH conjunctions with the 30th anniversary to the Memory of the World Programme.

Why is World Day for Audiovisual heritage celebrated?

If an audiovisual source is not preserved then within 10 to 15 years it will deteriorate and important social, linguistic and cultural histories that are stored will be lost. It becomes important to create awareness regarding the preservation of such audiovisual materials.

The WDAH helps create awareness for preservation, highlight accessibility of audiovisual archives, provide an opportunity to celebrate specific aspects of the heritage, attract media's attention to heritage issues, highlight the danger to audiovisual heritage and raise the cultural status of these audiovisual archives.

It is also a celebration of audiovisual technology. You are reminded of how technology has evolved from just giving a glimpse of a world to now creating a world where you can experience everything through VR glasses.

The World Day for Audiovisual heritage day will help you visit a slice in history. You can go back and see the first time your favourite leader gave a speech or just go back and understand how things were before everything turned modern.

World Day for Audiovisual heritage Theme 2022

As mentioned above the theme for this year is 'Enlisting documentary heritage to promote inclusive, just and peaceful societies'. The focus this year will be on understanding and using the documentary heritage to promote inclusive, just and peaceful stories. With the world filled and focused on negativity this positive element in history may nudge people together to stand together.

Where can you access old audiovisual archives?

If you are interested in our history or even our culture and want to access some old footage then you can check out websites like National Cultural Audiovisual Archives. The website has some old videos of dance from different states, lectures by different leaders and artists and so much more.

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