29.10.2010 - UNESCO Office in Kathmandu

Nepal celebrates World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

The "Rock Sitar group" performing at the event

The UNESCO Kathmandu Office, in collaboration with Nepal National Commission for UNESCO, celebrated World Day for Audiovisual Heritage on 27 October in Kathmandu by organizing a roundtable discussion on the safeguarding of Nepal’s audiovisual memory, followed by a concert of traditional Nepali music.

The event highlighted the importance of preserving audiovisual heritage. The aim of the Day is to raise public awareness of these documents as integral components of national identity and to spearhead efforts for their protection. 

Proceedings started with a roundtable discussion with the theme: “Saving and Savouring Nepal’s Audiovisual Heritage”. Participants from various stakeholder groups emphasized the issue of preserving historical sounds and images. 

The keynote speech was delivered by Kanak Mani Dixit, the Member-Secretary of Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya, a private library and archive. He noted that while Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya has already started collecting and preserving some of Nepal’s audiovisual heritage, there is still a lot of work to do in mapping heritage scattered around Nepal and the wider world. 

“Audiovisual heritage can take many forms: moving or still images; oral or musical records and can exist on analogue or digital carriers. It is composed of the documents that have defined the 20th century and provided new means of cultural expression, and new methods of creating and accessing knowledge,” Axel Plathe, Head of the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu and UNESCO Representative to Nepal, said in his speech. 

The roundtable discussion was followed by a concert by Nepali music group Rock Sitar, lead by famous Nepali sitar player Bijaya Vaidya. He emphasized the importance of keeping heritage alive by developing it further. 

“If I would play the sitar only in the traditional way, I would not reach the young Nepali people. By experimenting different music types and styles of playing, we can keep the traditional instruments alive,” he said.

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