Monday, 18 January 2021

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Let’s fight against collective amnesia!

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27.10.2015 – Audiovisual documents, such as films, radio and television programmes, audio and video recordings, are an integral part of our cultural heritage and national identity. They are the guardians of collective memory as well as the most democratic means of sharing knowledge of the 20th and 21st centuries and transmitting it to future generations, transcending boundaries of language, culture and education.

Today’s World Day for Audiovisual Heritage aims to raise awareness of the uniqueness of this historical testimony, spur urgent action to preserve it and honour those professionals and institutions that tirelessly work to protect this endangered heritage, often in spite of difficult conditions.

Unfortunately, audiovisual material is particularly fragile. Many moving images and sound recordings have been irremediably lost due to neglect, lack of skills and resources and even destruction, since part of this heritage is in countries at war or undergoing social upheaval.

Another major issue is the vinegar syndrome that is the acidification of the plastic base of film. For all these reasons, digitization is the only solution, but time is short. It is estimated that we have no more than 10 to 15 years left to convert our audiovisual heritage into a digital format.

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“The audiovisual heritage plays a key role in this work to promote what unites us and not what divides us. In so doing it can help to nurture universal values and to build a culture of tolerance and peace.” - Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO


UNRIC’s Related Links:

•   World Day for Audiovisual Heritage
•   33 C/Resolution 53
•   Memory of the World 
•   Message from Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the World   Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2015
•   The Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images

Photo Credits:

•   Cover - Photo: UN Photo/Ryan Brown
•   Second – Photo:  UN Photo/Mark Garten

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