10.02.2019 - UNESCO Office in Apia

Digitization of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)-related audiovisual materials in Fiji and Yap completed

Documentation of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is of crucial importance for its effective safeguarding. These materials allow us to understand the changes in the traditional expressions, practices and skills over time, recording the constantly evolving character of our cultures and ICH. Recently, the Fiji Museum and Yap Historic Preservation Office (HPO) have completed the digitalization of the ICH-related audiovisual materials with the assistance of the ICH Centre for the Asia-Pacific Region (ICHCAP), UNESCO Category II Centre in the Rep. of Korea and UNESCO.

ICHCAP launched the Programme for Supporting the Digitization Project of ICH-related Analogue Audiovisual Materials in 2010. The objective of this Programme is to assist member states in the Asia-Pacific region to digitize the analogue materials such as magnetic tapes and reels recording ICH with a view to enhancing their preservation and accessibility for the effective ICH safeguarding. Despite their value as sources of the ICH in the past, some of them became inaccessible due to natural decay, poor storage environment, and rapid technological changes.

For the Pacific, ICHCAP conducted a preliminary study in 2016 to gather information on the ICH-related audiovisual materials at the main cultural institutions. Under the 2017 Programme Cycle, ICHCAP collaborated with the Fiji Museum and the Yap HPO to digitize some 500 hours analogue materials through technical assistance, capacity building and CD/DVD production.

The Fiji collection consists of 9 CDs containing 80 tracks of changes, hymns and songs recorded during the 1970s and one DVD featuring videos produced in 1997 on the mat weaving and its socio-cultural meaning in Fiji.

The Yap collection consists of 8 CDs containing 20 tracks including stories, legends and myths recorded in Yap during the 1960s and 2 DVDs featuring videos on dances performed at annual “Yap Day” event recorded since 2007.

The digitized materials will be utilized for community awareness raising, researches, and education and transmission activities.

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