Audiovisual history online: On the use of online audiovisual archives in scholarship

Call for proposals IAMCR 2015 – panel Visual Culture working group

Television has, throughout its existence, been regarded as a window to the world as well as a reflection of national and regional identities and cultures. The art of film has left us with a wealth of works which contribute to our visual world heritage. Television and film archives provide rich collections of images, sounds, and artefacts related to television broadcasts, film screenings, and production practices of both. As with so many archival collections, archive items not digitally born are being digitized, and increasingly collections are made accessible through the internet, providing worldwide access to television’s and film’s history.Researchers working with online (audiovisual) archives find a wealth of online digital materials. However, to understand such sources, researchers largely depend on metadata, usually provided by the content provider (archives, broadcasters), often in an incomplete and inconsistent manner. At the same time, separated from their original context within a programme, film, or practice, archival material becomes detached from its original meaning creating environment, and may be taken up in a new setting by the researcher, giving it a novel, or additional, meaning. Continue reading

Help us enrich and curate heritage AV materials!

At the EUscreenXLconference in Rome, between inspiring talks, innovative projects and some sparks of Dolce Vita in Villa Borghese, people also participated in a workshop on Contextualization, which focused specifically on the question how AV contextualization practices can benefit best from the affordances of online publication. AV contextualization practices are a key part of the EUscreenXL project, reflected, amongst others, in an open access multi-media journal VIEW: Journal of European Television History and Culture and the EUscreen virtual exhibitions. Although several tools are currently being developed to explore and analyse digital audio-visual sources (AV), this workshop mainly focused on the next step: how to contextualize and re-use audio-visual materials online. fig 1This activity is part of our endeavours to build a ‘contextualization community’, in the sense of a community of content providers, creators, archivists, scholars, researchers, students and the general audience, who would work and explore the audio-visual material offered on Our Core Collection will consist of ca. 60.000 historical items gathered from the audio-visual cultural heritage of 22 European countries. Continue reading

A Workshop on Contextualization, or: How can AV contextualization practices benefit best from the affordances of online publication?

EUscreenXLOn Day 2 of the upcoming EUscreenXL conference “From Audience to User: Engaging with Audiovisual Heritage Online” (Rome, 30-31 October) an interactive workshop on Contextualization will be held (see also this Flyer on the EUscreen contextualization workshop & contextualization community) centred on the following question: How can AV contextualization practices benefit best from the affordances of online publication? Although various tools and functionalities are currently being developed to search, explore, and analyse digital audio-visual sources (AV), this workshop will focus on the next step: how to contextualize and publish research and remix practices with audio and/or video materials online. The workshop will explore selected scenarios for online publications exploring, using, commenting on and even remixing AV content. It will draw from both existing online publications, by scholars and by media professionals, and scenarios newly developed as part of a university course on doing television history online. The selected scenarios will then be tested and discussed by the participants of the workshop with regard to their own publication contexts. You can download the description of this workshop, lead by Berber Hagedoorn (Utrecht University), Willemien Sanders (Utrecht University), Mariana Salgado (Aalto University School of Art and Design) and Daniel Ockeloen (Noterik BV), here. The workshop is part of our efforts to create a ‘contextualization community’. At the conference in Rome, the EUscreen network will address and discuss current challenges for online cultural heritage initiatives with archivists, scholars of cultural (audiovisual) heritage, web designers, data specialists and policy makers.

Presentation AV in DH: How to publish AV research online

dh20146On 8 July 2014, Willemien Sanders and myself on behalf of the EUscreenXL project conducted a presentation on “AV in DH: How to publish AV research online” at the AV in DH 2014 workshop, which is part of the conference Digital Humanities 2014 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Based on best practice examples from online publications/presentations of academic research, journalistic productions, tv-programmes and documentaries as well as scenario’s developed by students in a Utrecht University course on Dutch Television Culture Online, we developed prototypes for the publication of academic research including audiovisual materials (AV) online. Based on the feedback received during and after the presentation, we will further develop our ideas. You can find the PPT presentation here and read the paper abstract here:

New publication in Holocaust Intersections: Genocide and Visual Culture at the New Millennium, digital version available

The recently published edited volume Holocaust Intersections: Genocide and Visual Culture at the New Millennium (Eds. Bangert, Gordon & Saxton, Legenda 2013) features my work on Dutch multi-platform TV documentary and the performance of the cultural memory of the Holocaust, and I was kindly allowed to share a digital version of my contribution.hi From the publisher’s website: “Recent representations of the Holocaust have increasingly prompted us to think beyond rigid demarcations of nation and history, medium and genre. Holocaust Intersections sets out to investigate the many points of conjunction between these categories in contemporary images of genocide. The book examines transnational and transhistorical constellations in the field, disclosing rich instances of intersection, of border-crossing and boundary-troubling at levels of production, distribution and reception. It ranges widely over popular Hollywood cinema, documentary film, installation art, TV history and internet platforms. It probes the personal visions of filmakers such as Michael Haneke, Harun Farocki, Rithy Panh and Quentin Tarantino, and it explores the contrasting contexts and histories of France and Italy, Holland and Poland, Cambodia and Rwanda, as each tackled the legacies of genocide. Drawing on a wide variety of different media and on the most recent scholarship on responses to the Holocaust in historiography and visual culture, Holocaust Intersections brings together a group of leading international scholars to update our understanding of how we look at the Holocaust and genocide today.” See also:

New publication in Popular Television in Authoritarian Europe

goddardNew publication together with Peter Goddard: a timeline of events in the history of popular television in authoritarian Europe in the newly published Popular Television in Authoritarian Europe, Ed. Peter Goddard. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013. About the edited volume, from the publisher’s website: “This lively and ground-breaking collection brings together work on forms of popular television within the authoritarian regimes of Europe after World War Two. Ten chapters based on new and original research examine approaches to programming and individual programmes in Spain, Greece, Czechoslovakia, Romania, the USSR and the GDR at a time when they were governed as dictatorships or one-party states. Drawing on surviving archives, scripts and production records, contemporary publications, YouTube clips and interviews with producers and performers, its chapters recover examples of television programming history unknown beyond national borders and often preserved largely in the memories of the audiences who lived with them. Continue reading

Digital Archive Projects: Rethinking Media Studies Methodologies

On 18th July 2013, I presented the EUscreenXL project as part of the panel ‘Digital Archive Projects: Rethinking Media Studies Methodologies’ at the 25th International IAMHIST Conference held at the University of Leicester, UK. It was the second time EUscreen was present at the IAMHIST Conference, after the 24th International IAMHIST Conference themed ‘Media History and Cultural Memory’ at Copenhagen University in 2011. The International Association for Media and History (IAMHIST) is an organization of filmmakers, broadcasters, archivists and scholars dedicated to historical inquiry into film, radio, television, and related media. IAMHIST encourages scholarly research into the relations between history and the media as well as the production of historically informed documentaries, television series, and other media texts. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Childhood and the Media’.

The last decade we have witnessed an explosion of available digital databases and archives, and accordingly, the development of different tools to explore these archives in new ways. The panel ‘Digital Archive Projects: Rethinking Media Studies Methodologies’ discussed the possibilities and limitations of tools to explore digitised television, newspaper and radio archives for media scholars and historians. Continue reading