28 October 2009

UNESCO launches new logo for World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

By Communication and Information Sector's news service

The winning design, which was submitted by Mr Achilleus Coronel of the Philippines, was chosen by a Jury comprising members of the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA).

The design represents cellulose film stock that forms an adorned box symbolizing collected media in its traditional state. The two arrows to the right are the universal symbol of the ‘forward’ button and represent archiving of media for future generations. These arrows also form a stack of boxes or an icon that can stand for a database or hard-disk storage. When combined, this symbol typifies forwarding media to a hard-disk or simply ‘save’.

Mr Coronel is a self-taught artist who started doing computer graphics at the age of 12, and lost a significant portion of his digital works (saved on floppy disks) due to dust when Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1992 as well as to computer viruses. He is, therefore, very much aware of the fragility of documentary heritage.

Audiovisual heritage in particular is extremely vulnerable. In 2005 UNESCO's General Conference proclaimed 27 October as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage in order to raise public awareness of these documents as integral components of national identity and to spearhead efforts for their protection. Unlike some other types of heritage, its deterioration is often not rapid, but rather a slow fade to blank. This fading away can be slowed, and this year theme of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage seeks to encourage global community to take measures that will save precious collections from disappearing.

While a tremendous task in raising public awareness of the significance of audiovisual heritage still lies ahead, the oriental adage ‘A journey of a thousand miles began with a single step’ is quite pertinent. With this new logo in place, the first steps in the task of preserving the world's audiovisual heritage are being taken.


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