Managing Risks of Disasters in Film Archives @ FIAF 2020 Symposium

Captivating presentations and relevant discussions marked the FIAF 2020 Online Symposium, taking place from 28 September to 1 October.

The event was marvelously organized by the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) and the Filmoteca de la UNAM.

At the Symposium Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT) was represented by a multidisciplinary coauthoring team: Lana Bubenik and Tajana Prpić of HRT, and Saša Tkalec of Cultural Innovation Center (InK).

Our 30-min presentation gave a comprehensive overview of HRT’s prevention and resilience strategies, insight into the contemporary approaches to deal with complex and cascade threats, as well as on overview of the HRT’s successful response, adaptation, and innovation to previous natural and anthropogenic crisis and disasters.

The Symposium presentations condensed the experiences of archives from around the world in dealing with diverse natural and technical threats. However, much of the focus of the archivists on this Symposium was on the currently prominent anthropogenic threats primarily in the form of the managerial and political interventions that diverge from the professional standards and best practice in archiving.

The symposium was originally planned to take place as part of the FIAF congress on April 20 and 21 in Mexico City, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was rescheduled and moved online, still providing an invaluable opportunity to share the knowledge and experiences.

The organizers noted the following in their Symposium announcement:

“Originally, we had associated the issue of disaster directly with the consequences of climate change worldwide and with the existing limitations in the preventive and protection measures implemented in our archives.

Today the world presents us with an unprecedented scenario of great uncertainties and challenges, but also of incredible opportunities to improve our lives. Our cinematographic and audiovisual memory is preserved as a collective ritual, through its public space and our collective analysis and reflection.

The best way to get through this nightmare is to face it together, to be able to breathe again. Can we rethink together this great catastrophe and its possible ways out? Climate change has very diverse repercussions, since it affects all areas of our existence, from viruses to cyclones to wildfires.

And yet, if we cannot anticipate everything or control everything, we as a community of film archives know that we can meet up to discuss and propose various solutions to these challenges. This online symposium is an invitation to do so.”

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