The audiovisual heritage landscape in Latin America is in full evolution. Closely connected with many of the regional key players, FIAT/IFTA supports initiatives that contribute to the preservation and improved access to Latin American television archives. An important Latin American research project in the field is RIPDASA, the ‘Iberoamerican Network for the Digital Preservation of Sound and Audiovisual Archives’. It is a research project funded by CYTED (Iberoamerican Programme for Science and Technology). FIAT/IFTA expressed its support for RIPDASA by sending Executive Council member Virginia Bazán-Gil to their kickoff meeting at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico City on November 5th.
RIPDASA has representatives – researchers as well as archivists – from Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, Perú, Uruguay and Brazil and kicked off its activities with a first regional meeting in Mexico City on 5 November last. One of the highlights of the meeting was the presentation of the Map of the Latin American Archives at Risk, together with a first status update of the research project in the different countries participating. Most of the researchers highlighted the difficulty to get in touch with the broadcasters archives. Very relevant is also that in many Latin American countries, as in the United States, universities are important players in the audiovisual archiving field: often they hold archival collections originating from public broadcasters.
During the RIPDASA meeting Virginia Bazán-Gil moderated a workshop entitled Measures to Safeguard Audiovisual Archives at Risk. Amongst the audience were representatives from key players such as Señal Memoria (Colombia), Ibermemoria, Fonoteca Nacional de México and Radio Televisión Pública Argentina. FIAT/IFTA’s mission, organisation and activities were presented, as well as the regional seminar planned in March 2020 in São Paulo. From the conversation it appeared that there’s a strong need to create a regional network of audiovisual archives professionals. Furthermore the importance of collaboration with the academic research world was stressed, and the need for strong recommendations on the necessity of the preservation of television heritage. With all these themes it is important to remember that the knowledge of English is not self-evident and that the Spanish language therefore plays a key role.
It was agreed that RIPDASA and FIAT/IFTA would stay in contact through its Spanish and Latin American directors and members. In this way, the needs can be further identified and initiatives can be developed.