Preservation and Accessibility of Audiovisual Archives of Cambodia
Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center, (founded as the Association pour la recherche, la production et l’archivage des documents audiovisuels in 2005), is a leading non-profit and non-governmental archive center, committed to reviving the memory of Cambodia and fostering Cambodian culture through arts and multimedia. This memory and culture have been nearly destroyed by three decades of war and genocide.
Aiming to reconstruct the memory of Cambodia, under the term “Save and Resuscitate Yesterday’s and Today’s Memories”, Bophana Center collects and safeguards audiovisual archives of Cambodia including films, photos and sound archives from around the world; provides public access to this audiovisual heritage; and trains youths in filmmaking to facilitate freedom and artistic expression and for archiving the country. These efforts will help Cambodians to gradually restore this priceless heritage, and will enable them to understand their past, build their present and invent their future.
With generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Bophana Center is implementing a project “Preservation and Accessibility of Audiovisual Archives of Cambodia” which runs from 2020-2021. Throughout this project, we have identified and prioritized 300 hours of the remaining 2,000 hours of the audiovisual archive that still needs to be preserved physically and digitally for digitization and preservation.
We have chosen these particular items based on their physical state and their contents. These materials include:
– Rare footage of Cambodia in 1990 and interview footage of a senior Khmer Rouge officer from Rithy Panh’s archive
– Documentary films covering a range of issues during the 1990s from the UNICEF archive, (e.g, children’s rights, health issues, everyday life in Cambodia, etc.). They are in urgent condition and need to be protected from rapid deterioration.
In addition to the 300-hour archives digitization, the project also provided material support for the conversion of those important audiovisual archives, including a server and storage array to store the digitized data, as well as digitization equipment for the best quality of conversion and a back-up system to safeguard the entire Bophana archives collection.