Join us in supporting the National Year of Reading
The NFSA is proud to support the National Year of Reading 2012, which was officially launched earlier this year by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
A staggering 46% of Australians don’t have the literacy skills they need to cope with the complex demands of everyday life and work in the emerging knowledge-based economy. According to the National Year of Reading website, this 46% can’t read newspapers, follow a recipe, make sense of timetables or understand instructions on a medicine bottle.
Beyond helping people to navigate the information labyrinth of everyday living, literacy skills open doorways to a world beyond simply surviving: a world of knowledge and learning, exploration and discovery, creativity and innovation, the pursuit of which benefits all of society.
The NFSA is one of these doorways. We provide a unique way to experience our nation’s culture and history via moving images and recorded sounds – an engaging way to share in a deeper understanding of what being Australian means and to understand the past in order to shape the future. We are the stewards of the national audiovisual collection – a ‘knowledge base’ of more than 1.9 million items, comprising audio recordings, moving image works and associated documents and artefacts of cultural significance.
Knowledge is invaluable when it is shared and used, and we want as many Australians as possible to use their collection to explore, learn and even play. We are a centre for living knowledge that fuels research, creative production, policy lobbying, cultural exploration, education and entertainment.
Limited literacy is a fundamental barrier to this. Although you don’t necessarily need reading skills to see a film, watch TV, or listen to the radio, you do need reading skills to:
- use the pathways to knowledge we offer through our online resources and access centres around Australia;
- enjoy a richer experience by reading curatorial notes and other documents, which provide further knowledge and insight;
- access converged media platforms which are now a part of day-to-day life in knowledge-based economies;
- pursue a career in the varied and exciting audiovisual industries such as film, television and radio.
What are we doing?
Throughout the year, we will be showcasing a range of activities that we hope will help demonstrate the benefits of reading as a life skill and a catalyst for wellbeing by providing inspiration in an audiovisual and learning context.
The NFSA and our staff are raising funds to help increase literacy amongst Indigenous children in the Northern Territory by donating to the Wall of Hands initiative. We invite you to visit the Wall and make a donation.
We’ve just opened our new exhibition Great Adaptations: Words to Image which explores the journey of turning novels into screenplays and then films. Those who have a QR reader on their smart phone will be able to access even more information about these works.
We are partnering with the National Library of Australia in launching e-Voss, an e-book to mark the centenary of the birth of Australia’s Nobel Prize-winning author Patrick White (28 May 1912–30 September 1990).
Arc cinema’s Canberra program highlights the often complex and charged dialogue between literature and cinema. We feature one of the few major contemporary writers to make a successful transition to screen directing: Korea’s Lee Chang-Dong, as well as Chile’s Raúl Ruiz, a director who redefined the art of ‘adapting’ literature to the screen.
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