The 2023 World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, observed on October 27, revolves around the theme “Your Gateway to the Global Scene.”

The Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA) and UNESCO have supported this event as a significant initiative to honor individuals and groups committed to safeguarding audiovisual materials that preserve our heritage for future generations.

As a portal to the world, audiovisual heritage grants us the ability to witness events we couldn’t attend, hear the voices of bygone eras, and construct narratives that educate and entertain.

By delving into recorded sounds and visual content captured on various media, we not only gain an appreciation for cultural richness but also draw valuable lessons from it.

Audiovisual archives tell stories about the lives and cultures of people all over the world.

They are a priceless heritage that confirms our shared memory and provides a rich source of knowledge that shows how our societies are woven together in a tapestry of language, culture, and society.

They contribute to our personal growth and our understanding of the interconnected world we inhabit.

Preserving this heritage and ensuring its accessibility to present and future generations is a crucial objective for both memory institutions and the general public.

In pursuit of this goal, the UNESCO Archives have initiated the “Digitizing our shared UNESCO history” project.

The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (WDAH) commemorates the adoption of the Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images during the 21st General Conference in 1980.

This day serves as a platform to increase awareness about the urgent need for protective measures and to acknowledge the significance of audiovisual materials.

Furthermore, World Day provides UNESCO’s Member States with an opportunity to assess their progress in implementing the 2015 Recommendation Concerning the Preservation of and Access to Documentary Heritage, Including in Digital Form.

The world’s audiovisual heritage, encompassing sound recordings and moving images, faces significant vulnerability due to a range of factors such as neglect, natural deterioration, technological obsolescence, and even deliberate destruction.

In response to these difficulties, UNESCO incorporated the preservation of these recordings into its mission and established the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage in 2006.

Which the 2005 UNESCO General Assembly formally endorsed to mark the 25th anniversary of UNESCO’s “Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images.”

Read more: World Standards Day 2023

By designating October 27 as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, UNESCO, in collaboration with the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA), has played a pivotal role in bringing attention to the issues at stake and raising global awareness regarding the fragility of this heritage.

This date holds significance as on October 27, 1980, UNESCO’s General Conference adopted the “Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images.”

It was the first international instrument to acknowledge the cultural and historical importance of film and television recordings, emphasizing the need for decisive measures to ensure their preservation.

Every year on October 27, archives worldwide come together to celebrate audiovisual archives, with activities that not only underscore the vulnerability of this heritage but also recognize the often-underappreciated efforts of the institutions dedicated to safeguarding it.