Theme: Imagining an AV Archive of the Future
The 21st Conference and General Assembly of the Southeast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA) was held in the city of Manila, Philippines on April 1-9, 2017. It was jointly hosted by the University of the Philippines School of Library and Information Studies (UPSLIS) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), in cooperation with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and ABS-CBN. With the conference theme of “Imagining an AV Archive of the Future”, the event aimed to explore how audiovisual archives position themselves to be in the right shape, with the right services, at the right time in the light of continuously changing technologies, socio-political landscapes, industry developments, market structures, skill requirements, and stakeholder expectations and community needs. The conference was attended by 213 participants composed of archivists, librarians, curators, content producers, filmmakers, broadcasters, scholars and the like, representing 24 countries across and beyond the Asia-Pacific.
The Opening Ceremony was held at the Little Theater of the CCP on the 5th of April. In her welcoming remarks, Senator Grace Poe highlighted the importance of archiving films for history and underscored the role of film archives in this advocacy. She expressed her commitment to support the industry and encouraged everyone to give their full support. In his opening remarks, Mick Newnham, President of SEAPAVAA, extended his appreciation to the hosts and participants as he wished for a substantive conference.
Like previous years, the conference consisted of a symposium, archival gems screening night, workshops, opening and farewell dinners, cultural tours and institutional visits. Three concurrent workshops were held at the Cinematheque Centre of the FDCP on the 3rd and 4th of April. The workshop on “Handling AV Collections in Libraries” was led by Prof Howard Besser of New York University and Joshua Harris of Department of Preservation and Conservation at the Library of the University of Illinois, USA. The workshop on “Personal Digital Archiving” was facilitated by Marie Lascu of Crowing Rooster Arts, and Yvonne Ng of WITNESS. The Oral History workshop was led by Dr. Lye Soo Choon and Mark Wong from the Oral History Centre, National Archives of Singapore. Additionally, we also inaugurated a Community Archiving workshop sponsored by the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) and held at the University of the Philippines on the 1st of April. During this workshop, participants from UPSLIS organized, catalogued, and facilitated the preservation of U-matic tapes in the AsiaVisions collection held by the IBON Foundation.
The symposium featured keynote lectures by Prof. Nick Deocampo of University of the Philippines and Reto Kromer of AV Preservation by Reto.ch. The lectures explored what shape AV archives could take in the future. The presentations, panels and discussions probed on the current situations and developments in the field of AV Archiving at the international, regional, and national levels, with focus on sustainability and continuity.
The General Assembly was attended by members of SEAPAVAA and observers and held at the Silangan Hall of the CCP on the 7th of April. For this year, a new set of Councillors was elected for a three-year term 2017-2020 comprising Irene Lim (President), Ricky Orellana (Secretary General), Joshua Harris (Treasurer), Benedict Salazar (“Bono”) Olgado, Christophe Augias, Pawarisa Nipawattanapong, Prof Ray Jiing and Sanchai Chotirosseranee.