27.10.2011 -

The World Audiovisual Heritage Day “See, Hear, and Learn”

Audiovisual Heritage Day Poster

On October 27 2011, UNESCO Phnom Penh Office, in collaboration with Bophana Center, celebrates the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2011. The theme for this year is: “Audivisual Heritage: See, Hear, and Learn!” Film, documentaries and audiovisual materials are very common in our everyday lives, but we rarely have the chance to think about how these materials are produced. On this day, the experts in various audiovisual professions will share with us their special skills and show the immense amount of creative energy and decisions that go into making final audiovisual products. The Day aims to inspire young people to think about the important role that films, movies, songs and documents play in our 21st century society, and to realize the importance of protecting them.

It is estimated that our audiovisual heritage has around 10 to 15 years to be transferred onto digital records before they become lost to us. Too much of the world’s audiovisual heritage has been already lost through neglect, destruction, and decay. Sound recordings and moving images are extremely vulnerable as they can be quickly and deliberately destroyed.

Film, television and radio are our common heritage. They help to maintain the cultural identity of the people. Music, cinema, photography, painitng and radio permit the people all over the world to easily share their experiences, creativity and knowledge. Audiovisual products open up doors for understanding of different perspectives and dialogue among different cultures.

UNESCO initiatives through the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage and the Memory of the World Programme support the essential work of preservation professionals. UNESCO’s Memory of the World programme was launched to safeguard valuable documentary heritage—including audiovisual records—and to raise awareness about its value for the present and future generations. One key achievement of Cambodia and UNESCO is the inscription of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum archives on the Memory of the World Register in 2009.

After a successful workshop earlier this month, the Cambodian government has decided to form a National Memory of the World Committee to promote and safeguard documentary and audiovisual heritage.

To safeguard the world’s audiovisual heritage is to preserve our collective memory, and to ensure its transmission to the future generations. The Day will encourage government, the national commission, NGOs and public and private institutions to help promote awareness about Cambodian audiovisual heritage and to support the preservation efforts for the generations to come.

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