World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

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2024 Date27 October 2024
2025 Date27 October 2025

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

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World Day for Audiovisual Heritage History

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage seeks to raise awareness of the importance of preserving audiovisual documents, such as sound recordings, films, and television or radio programmes. These documents are essential components of humankind's heritage and contain the primary records of the 20th and 21st centuries. As a global observance, the day stresses the need to conserve these records for future generations, as they contribute to cultural diversity, identity, and knowledge sharing. The observance also highlights the urgency of digitising and safeguarding these valuable materials, as they become more endangered due to technological obsolescence and decay.

The concept for World Day for Audiovisual Heritage emerged from a UNESCO proposal in 2005, and the day was first observed internationally in 2007. For South Africans, this day provides an opportunity to appreciate the rich cultural and historical heritage preserved in audiovisual formats. The preservation of these records plays a critical role in fostering awareness and understanding of South Africa's diverse and often tumultuous history. It also underscores the importance of continued preservation efforts to ensure that future generations can access and learn from these valuable documents, deepening their connection to the nation's past.

In South Africa, the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is often commemorated through various events and activities, such as film screenings, exhibitions, and seminars that celebrate the country's audiovisual heritage. These events not only educate the public on the significance of preserving such materials but also provide a platform for showcasing South African stories, as told through the unique lens of audiovisual works. World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is observed annually on October 27, providing a moment for South Africans to honour and appreciate the rich tapestry of their nation's history and culture.

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage facts

  • The theme for World Day for Audiovisual Heritage in 2023 was Your Window to the World.
  • Preserving audiovisual heritage can include digitization to create digital copies of analog materials, restoration to repair damaged materials, and proper storage and handling to prevent further deterioration.
  • The University of Cape Town holds one of the largest audiovisual collections in the country. It includes various types of materials from photographs and slides to audio recordings and videos.
  • Audiovisual materials in South Africa often include oral histories. These are particularly vital as they capture first-hand accounts of historical events and personal experiences.

Top things to do in South Africa for this observance

  • Browse online archives, like the South African History Archive (SAHA), which provide access to a wealth of audiovisual materials documenting the nation's history.
  • Institutions like the Apartheid Museum, Iziko Museums of South Africa, or the District Six Museum often showcase audiovisual materials as part of their exhibits. Consider exploring these places to gain insights into South Africa's rich history and culture.

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