The third and last day of the FIAT/IFTA World Conferences are traditionally a culmination of very focused discussions, ending up in a call to start preparing the future, each of us in our own organisation, but also together, for next year’s conference. The day started off with a plenary session chaired by the Media Studies Commission. They pointed in particular to the approaching ’50 years after 1968′ celebrations and the opportunities this holds for television history research and thus also for the television archives to analyse and show their content. Also, the Media Studies Grant was put in the spotlight, enabling academic research on the content of our member’s collections.
Right before lunch another highlight of the conference was the keynote speech titled “Television Archives in a Post-Television Era”, by Richard Wright who just had received the FIAT/IFTA Lifetime Honorary Award the evening before. Richard pointed us to the rapid evolutions in media and distribution and challenged us with asking very pertinent questions about the role of the archives in all this. The room answered – for now – with a long and standing ovation.
One last afternoon of parallel and plenary talks ended the official presentations programme, leaving us full of inspiration, with a pocket full of business cards, bright ideas as much as feelings of solidarity and discussions that could go on for ever. When the room was brought to silence for the last time, it was time for lots of gratitude – to the organisers, the conference team, audience and all the presenters. But we could not wrap up and leave the auditorium of course, before the location of next year’s edition would be announced. We hope to see you again, in October 2018, in – drumm roll please – Venice … where the Italian public broadcaster RAI will host us in the city of beauty, with an undoubtedly unforgettable atmosphere and once again with a yearly opportunity par excellence to learn, to be inspired, to recharge batteries filled with audiovisual archives innovation ideas.