World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is an observance dedicated to the preservation of cultural histories and traditions by means of audiovisual archiving. Equal parts celebration of and commitment to cultural conservation, this day emphasises the need to preserve society’s histories as audiovisual artefacts and to acknowledge the work done by archivists who enable future generations to discover, interpret, and appreciate these legacies as sights and sounds.
While the initiative is spearheaded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA), the true trailblazers are the audiovisual professionals and institutions who dedicate innumerable hours to this preservation. These monumental efforts are often made in the face of immense technical, social, political, and financial constraints that threaten the progress of capturing, preserving, and annotating the footage.
Audiovisual media comprises images or video (visual elements) and sounds (audio elements). The term is also used to refer to media that is either visual or audio. Archives of audiovisual media allow for an immersive experience of the information presented and can make history more accessible to a wider audience. Although single mode formats of recording history, such as written and oral, have been utilised for centuries, audiovisual records provide a greater degree of emotional depth and evocation.
While written histories have long been held as reliable resources, videos, images, and audio recordings are more provocative, and can prove more widely accessible to younger audiences who prefer consuming visual media over written text, as well as audiences of various levels of literacy. Furthermore, certain cultures that do not have written records and depend on oral transmission of histories, benefit from audiovisual archiving as the only format of historical documentation. Audiovisual archiving is thus indispensable in the conservation of the stories and traditions of peoples without formal writing systems.
The digital age is also favourable towards audiovisual archiving. Whereas archival audiovisual footage has long been stored on rolls of film and VHS tapes, digital media presents an invaluable opportunity for more reliable storage and an easier means of data sharing. This allows people to connect with the archives directly, easing accessibility and engagement for the audiences that wish to tap into this wealth of knowledge.
As audiovisual archiving conserves a priceless heritage and collective of global memories, the safe storage and continued accessibility is a vital goal of UNESCO, leading to the launch of the “Digitizing our shared UNESCO history” project which aims to realise this very dream. These possibilities were unthinkable just a few decades ago, but now they are increasingly becoming our reality, with petabytes of audiovisual media available, free of charge, on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.
Folio has various audiovisual services on offer, such as transcription and subtitling as well as voice-overs and dubbing. Folio can thus improve the reach of your audiovisual content by making it accessible to new commercial and cultural domains. Our team of expert mother-tongue linguists will localise your content and ensure that it is accessible to as wide as possible an audience, contributing substantially to broadening your market reach. Whether you require subtitles or a voice-over for your documentary on nomadic Sub-Saharan tribes, or need a transcribed record of the fireside lore you recorded while researching oral traditions of bygone eras, Folio can cater to all your localisation needs!