Theme: Mapping Tomorrow: A Reality Check for the Archives
The SEAPAVAA conference in 2002 was held in Laos from May 13 to 17 and hosted by the Lao National Film Archive and Video Center. About one hundred delegates gathered in Vientiane at the Lane Xang Hotel, on the banks f the fabled Mekong River. They cam from all ten ASEAN countries as well as from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands, USA, Canada, Britain, and Croatia.
The conference symposium explored the theme “Mapping tomorrow: A Reality Check for Archives”, with the delegated making institutional visits to the Lao National Television and Radio, National Museum, and National Library, as well as to the host archive. One particular point of interest was the Archive of Traditional Music, house within the National library, which holds the audio and video collection documenting Lao’s rich cultural heritage of music and dance.
With the exception of the gathering held jointly with IASA (International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archvies) in Singapore in 2000 , the annual activity was the largest SEAPAVAA conference then. FIAT (International Federation of Television Archives) was represented by the head of its Training Commission, Branko Bubenik, IASA by its President, Crispin Jewitt, and AMIA (Association of Moving Image Archivists) by JoAnn Watson, representing President Sam Kula. Sam’s keynote address, delivered by JoAnn, was a reflection on the rapidly changing international landscape of our profession.
A feature of the symposium was a segment on “dreams and visions”. Several archives were asked to visualize the “ideal” archival situation in their country, if they could be freed from present budgetary and other constraints. The visions they presented were the highlight of the conference. There was a logical conclusion drawn from this: no matter what the present situation, it is crucial to have a vision of what might be in the best of all possible worlds. It puts present realities and specific future goals in perspective. And it was realized that sometimes dreams do come true.
The formal opening and closing ceremonies of the conference were presided senior dignitaries from the Cultural Ministry of the Lao People’s Democratic republic. The social occasions introduces visitors to Lao music and dance.