18th SEAPAVAA Conference: Audiovisual Archives: Why They Matter

Organized in cooperation with the Lao Department of Cinema, the 18th conference of South East Asia-Pacific Audio Visual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA) will explore and discuss the myriad of issues related to audiovisual archives on 26 and 27 May 2014 in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

The discussion will be constructed around a series of questions including, but not limited to:

In what ways do AV archives matter? To whom and for whom do these archives matter? Do the importance and relevance of AV archives cross national boundaries? If AV archives matter, what must archivists do in terms of their advocacy and branding, engagement with stakeholders, community outreach, provision of access, appraisal, selection, acquisition, documentation and preservation? What resources, opportunities and inspirations are there for archivists to tap on and propel them to garner greater recognition for AV archives and the archiving profession? What challenges do archivists face in their endeavours? How are these challenges being addressed?

The nature, purpose and potential use of AV archives, the cultural value and memories which these archives hold for nations and their peoples are generally recognized but not always properly appreciated. For a variety of reasons, AV archival institutions have not been particularly successful in making their work and themselves better known to their stakeholders and the general public, and the conference will seek to address these issues.

SEAPAVAA has issued a Call for Papers from members and interested participants to express their views on these topics.

UNESCO has been invited to deliver the keynote address during this important event. Its position is that AV archives are an integral part of documentary heritage and must be afforded equal protection. SEAPAVAA maintains formal relations with UNESCO and the conference is expected to contribute to better awareness of the Organization’s work in the region, its connection with global audiovisual archiving and the Memory of the World (MoW) Programme.

SEAPAVAA is a member of the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA) which is a network of international non-governmental organizations involved in all aspects of audiovisual archiving including films, broadcast television and radio, and audio recordings of all kinds. CCAAA also manages the official website for the UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage celebrated annually on 27 October.