At SEAPAVAA in Malaysia

BY ROD BUTLER

Kuala Lumpur sweats in the humidity of the short passing storm. Taxis almost outnumber people and the sound of their horns mixes with the musical lilt of the Bahasa language in an exotic blend of industry and culture.

I’m in Malaysia to attend the 15th Annual Meeting and General Assembly of SEAPAVAA — the South East Asian and Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association. SEAPAVAA was founded in 1996 to provide a regional forum for addressing common issues and concerns relating to the collection, preservation and access of the audiovisual heritage of member countries. Conference delegates come from a large number of member countries, including Singapore, Fiji, Laos, USA, the UK and, of course, Australia and Malaysia.

This year’s conference seeks to address the challenges that archives face today in light of rapid developments in technology and the resulting demand for access to collection information. The conference includes a symposium, roundtable discussions, a one-day workshop, screenings of archival films, institutional visits, the General Assembly, and a retreat-excursion. Alongside the conference is a parallel event, the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA) meeting hosted by SEAPAVAA.

At the conference I will be presenting a paper on preservation planning and strategies, and will also participate on a panel that will be discussing national legal structures and audiovisual ethics. I’m hoping that delegates will benefit from hearing about NFSA’s curatorial model and preservation planning processes — but I expect to learn more than I teach.