World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

27 October

Audiovisual archives tell us stories about people’s lives and cultures from all over the world. They represent a priceless heritage which is an affirmation of our collective memory and a valuable source of knowledge since they reflect the cultural, social and linguistic diversity of our communities. They help us grow and comprehend the world we all share. Conserving this heritage and ensuring it remains accessible to the public and future generations is a vital goal for all memory institutions as well as the public at large.

The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (WDAH) is a commemoration of the adoption, in 1980 by the 21st General Conference, of the Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images. The World Day provides an occasion to raise general awareness of the need to take urgent measures and to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual documents.

In this way, the World Day also serves as an opportunity for UNESCO’s Member States to evaluate their performance with respect to implementing the 2015 Recommendation Concerning the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage, Including in Digital Form.

The WDAH fulfils UNESCO’s constitutional mandate to promote the "free flow of ideas by word and image" as a representation of our shared heritage and memory.  In so doing, the Day highlights the role of heritage in building the defenses of peace in people’s minds.

Message from the Director-General

"Audiovisual archives are not just records of our past; they are narratives of our being – yesterday, today and tomorrow. They are stories of how we have come to be who and where we are. This year’s theme for the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage – Your Story is Moving – aptly captures audiovisual archives as memories of humankind that have endured through time and space."

— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO
on the occasion of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2018

Download the full message in PDF format
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In 2018, the theme is Your story is moving!

This theme allows for plenty of scope for a wide variety of activities based on stories that are preserved in audiovisual archives -- people’s stories or narratives that enable heritage to be passed on to the next generation. At the same time, the theme also invokes the emotional connections and meanings people may derive from appreciating audiovisual heritage. It enlivens such heritage as a shared story binding people in a common humanity, moving them, so to speak, to higher levels of understanding of and respect for the other.