SEAPAVAA conference, Vietnam
BY MICK NEWNHAM
A new award symbolises the NFSA’s growing connection with the Asia Pacific region. The SEAPAVAA NFSA Preservation Award carries a $5000 cash prize and was presented for the first time at the 16th SEAPAVAA Conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on 17 April.
I was selected to represent the NFSA at the conference and present the award. The recipient was Ms Kae Ishihara, for her tireless work in promoting awareness of audiovisual preservation in Japan and the development of Japan’s Film Preservation Society.
The NFSA and SEAPAVAA will present the award annually to a person or organisation for their extraordinary efforts within the South East Asia and Pacific region in preserving or promoting audiovisual archiving. SEAPAVAA, the South East Asia and Pacific Audiovisual Archives Association, brings together the ten member nations of ASEAN, Australasia and the Pacific Islands (Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia). The NFSA and SEAPAVAA launched the award in 2011.
The theme of this year’s conference was Creating, Funding, Protecting a Digital AV Archive. I chaired the first session, ‘Establishing a digital collection’. Papers from Vietnam, Malaysia, USA and Thailand explored the challenges faced by archives responding to rapid developments in digital preservation technology.
The historic Rex Hotel hosted the conference (see photo). During the ‘American War’ in the 1960s, it was a popular site for US officers posted to Saigon. At the conference I caught up with Joshua Harris, an archivist from the University of Illinois, who has been working on a project featuring footage of the hotel from the 1960s. He told me that the exterior remains similar to how it looked then, though the interior has been heavily refurbished.
I’m sure that all NFSA staff join me in congratulating Ms Ishihara, the winner of the inaugural SEAPAVAA NFSA Preservation Award for 2012.