On ways how to reuse EUscreen archives

Author: Mariana Salgado

With the aim to investigate remix practices within the EUscreenXL project Aalto University partners have been producing a series of videos together with immigrants living in Helsinki. The goal is to find meaningful uses of online video and to investigate the right way for cultural diasporas to use appropriate technology.

These videos were created in collaboration with a Bulgarian video artist and community worker: Borislav Borisov. One is “The day I won” and the other is “Á la minute with cheff Kolio”.

Participants in the project came up with their stories, chose how to shoot them and made the edition. Audiovisual archive material was used as source of inspiration and as content material. TVR (Romanian Television) has kindly given us permission to pursue this work. These two videos can also be seen in YouTube, through TVR’s channel.

Online archives are underused considering their potential and the magnificent collection that they hold. This proposal makes emphasis in staging encounters with communities of people from different cultural backgrounds to better understand their possible involvement in enriching the archives, specifically by remixing content. People with different cultural background in their host countries could be inspired and eager to create stories with the archives from their country of origin and this interaction could inform the development of online tools. Participatory design explorations such as a community video project with Bulgarian immigrants, is one of the ongoing research activities. The reasons for choosing people with different cultural background are: a) the availability of the audiovisual material without geographical limitations, b) immigrants’ interpretation of their culture once living abroad could be a meaningful addition to the archive, c) multicultural and transcultural studies are specially relevant in relation to the construction of an European archive.

The creation of these series of videos is part of an on going research that will inform the publishing tool that will be built as part of EUscreenXL. After making these videos together with immigrants, we could better identify the functionalities and building blocks that the tool needs. It is part of our plan to publish a detailed documentation of the process that will give an account of what needs to be in place for having the possibility to reuse EUscreen AV materials. In addition, the research into other strategies for the re use of archives materials is part of the future endeavors of Arki research group, in Media Lab, Aalto University.

In the coming months we will keep you informed about further developments of our activities.


Film Heritage, Digital Future: Practice and Sustainability for the Film Archive Sector

Press release by the BUFVC

A one day event for professionals in film and TV archiving.
Friday March 4th 2011
Organised and hosted by Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research
Birmingham City University
Margaret St Campus

What issues are facing film and other audio-visual archives? What are the immediate challenges for archive holders of cuts to public funding and threats to intellectual property in a digital age? How is our film heritage to be sustained and used? What kinds of collaborations might support the legacy of UK film and prompt innovation and best practice?

This event offers an opportunity for those with a professional interest in the film sector to hear about best practice in a range of public-funded projects and to share insights and ideas about the challenges for the audio-visual archive sector in the digital age.

The event will be anchored by the presentation of a range of innovative projects funded by Screen West Midlands under the Digital Film Archive Fund. Since the launch of the fund by Film Council in 2009, these projects have created new archival material, investigated and repurposed existing material, reaching new audiences and prompting engagement with archive issues and cultural heritage. As the projects seek to secure their legacy, develop and expand their scope, the issues they face will provide a prompt for discussion.

The event will feature contributions from BBC, SWM, MACE, EUscreen, workers from a variety of archives and from the education sector. EUscreen will be represented by Dr. Rob Turnock and Sian Barber, postdoctoral researcher both from Royal Holloway, University of London. They will be presenting their paper “From archive to online user: EUscreen and the challenges of creating access to European television content.”

The programme of the event contains presentations, screenings, opportunities for networking and discussion of current challenges in the sector.

Refreshments and lunch are provided.

RSVP: paul.long@bcu.ac.uk

Read about the major developments of EUscreen in the annual report

By Wietske van den Heuvel

EUscreen’s annual report is now published online. The report describes the major developments during the first year of the project. With the first release of the EUscreen coming up soon, the report provides valuable insights in the choices that are made and the effort that is put into the creation of the first version of such a portal. Some highlights from the report:

  • The milestones for the first year have been reached. These are milestone 1, project establishment and milestone 2, definition of the user requirements and the metadata schema.
  • A detailed description of the user groups, their needs and user requirements.
  • An overview of the architecture of the portal and a preview of the frontend and the backend.
  • A definition of the content selection guidelines and the metadata schema.
  • A summary of activities that have been undertaken.

Read the full report.

EUscreen International Conference: photos and report online

The first EUscreen International Conference took place on 7 and 8 October, 2010 and was hosted by Cinecittá Luce in Rome. The theme of this years conference was Context Selection Policies and Contextalisation. Over 100 participants attended the conference. The programme provided different angles on this theme with lecturers coming from the academic domain, the archives domain and the audiovisual production domain. With such a rich and interesting programme, many issues regarding online audiovisual content were addressed. In the conference report we will focus on only a few of these issues, notably contextualisation, collective memory and different users and uses.  The full conference report written by Andy O’Dwyer, Sian Barber and Wietske van den Heuvel can be read here.

Besides being the EUscreen projectmanager, Quirijn Backx also works as a photographer. She has taken photos during the conference which can be viewed here.

EUscreen’s contributions during the FIAT/IFTA conference in Dublin

By Marco Rendina and Wietske van den Heuvel

The EUscreen project was presented to a professional audience during the FIAT/IFTA World Conference 2010 which took place in Dublin from October 16th to 18th. Johan Oomen gave a plenary presentation about the project and its links to Europeana and addressed questions of how to safeguard the audiovisual heritage. This presentation was held in conjunction with a presentation about the European Film Gateway, represented by Georg Eckes.

In the afternoon of the 18th, Rob Turnock, Johan Oomen and Marco Rendina showed the current status of the project during a EUscreen dedicated workshop. The workshop focused on how EUscreen makes television history ‘real’ and about the kind of television history EUscreen is representing. The presentations included the content selection policy and the metadata schema. The event was attended by a large audience and it was a success.

The First EUscreen International Conference has started

The First International Conference on Context Selection Policies and Contextualisation has started with a warm welcome by Marco Rendina and Sonja de Leeuw. The conference takes place in Rome and is hosted by Cinecittá Luce. Over 100 partcipants have registered for the two-days conference. The first day programme contains four key note lectures and a number of case studies,  providing the participants with an academic point of view on contextualisation and content selection policies in the audiovisual domain. The full programme can be found here. The conference can also be followed on Twitter.

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: First EUscreen International Conference on Content Selection Policy and Contextualisation

Date: 7-8 October 2010.
Location: Casa del Cinema. Largo Marcello Mastroianni 1, Rome, Italy.

The EUscreen best practice network is hosting a two-day international conference on content selection policies and contextualisation in the audiovisual domain. It will be held in Rome on 7 and 8 October 2010. The conference will focus on contextualisation of audiovisual material. Attendance is free, but pre-registration is compulsory as the number of seats is limited. The complete programme is published here.

The first conference day begins with a keynote speech by Professor. Andrew Hoskins, Professor of Cultural Studies at Nottingham University. The day will continue with plenary sessions by Dr. Lilian Landes, scientific co-ordinator of the recensio.net project at Bavaria State Library and Dr. Alec Badenoch, from Utrecht University. The afternoon programme includes three case studies and a keynote speech lecturer and filmmaker Professor. Johan Söderberg.

The second conference day will be devoted to two half-day workshops. The first workshop will focus upon creative reuse of archive material. Peter B. Kaufman, president of Intelligent Television, will talk about ‘Unlocking Audiovisual Value’ through reuse. His keynote speech will be followed by four case studies (from INA, Sound and Vision, VRT and ELTE).

The central topic of the second workshop is ‘selection criteria and success indicators for large-scale AV digitisation programmes’. It begins with a keynote address from Professor. John Ellis, Professor of Media Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London, and will be followed by case studies from the BBC, DR, Memoriav and Sound and Vision. Both days also include panel discussions.

Make sure to register in time, as there are only a few tickets left.

More information can be found here.

The EUscreen content selection policy and the future user

EUscreen will provide access to a critical mass of audiovisual content (>30,000 items) and it’s metadata, covering the history of European television. With such a large amount of data, a content selection policy is essential to provide meaningful access. The EUscreen content selection policy has been developed in the first six months of the project and the final policy has been presented to the content providers during the Mykonos workshop in June. This policy will not only influence the work of the content providers, but also the user experience.  We’ve invited Sian Barber, Postdoctoral Researcher  from Royal Holloway University of London (workpackage leader for WP3, content selection policies) to outline the content selection policy in more detail and to explain the benefits of such a policy for future users of the EUscreen portal.

The EUscreen project content selection policy is comprised of three strands: the 14 historical topics, content provider virtual exhibitions and comparative virtual exhibitions. The aim of this ambitious, multi-strand approach is to offer something sophisticated and multi-layered to draw upon the strengths of the various content providers. The approach will allow archives to showcase material from within their own collections which fall outside the parameters of the historical topics. Yet what are the implications of this policy for users, and what benefits does it offer to them?

Site users will be able to see the outcomes of the content selection policy within the 14 historical topics which will account for 70% of content in EUscreen and a great deal of which will be mapped from Video Active. However, the innovation with EUscreen is that each content provider will also contribute material to their own virtual online exhibition which will allow them to fully utilise material and content from their own archives. These individual exhibitions will account for 20% of EUscreen content and will allow each archive to play to its strengths and present the best of their material which has not been included within the 14 historical topics. Such an approach will enable content providers to support their own content with a range of still images, documentation and text. For the users, the individual exhibitions will highlight the diversity and breadth of material within the project and enable them to explore and examine the material and collections presented by individual archives and discover new information about the collections and their accompanying metadata.

Example of the content selection policy in Video Active

Perhaps the most innovative part of the content selection policy, both for users and for the project as a whole, is the decision to offer the final 10% of the content in the form of two comparative exhibitions. The topics for these exhibitions will be decided upon by a working group which comprises representatives from content providers, technology partners and academic partners. The topics selected could be a detailed consideration of TV history offering perspectives from different countries, or an in-depth focus on a single concept, such as minorities, or outsiders. Each content provider will contribute 5% of their total content to each comparative exhibition and the content itself will be shaped and developed by an editorial and curatorial team in order to pose questions and raise key issues. For example, a comparative exhibition on the topic of the European Union might compare material from Poland, Ireland and the Netherlands and examine reactions to joining the European Union. The exhibition could also utilise audio visual and textual material to examine what being part of the European Union means for different countries and what this in turn suggests about patriotism, nationalism and European identity. Such an exhibition will offer to the user a range of information, but will also link the content to broader discursive issues, topics and themes.

Through this innovative content selection policy and multi-strand approach, EUscreen will cater to a variety of end users, offering accessible audio visual content to teachers, lecturers, researchers and students but also drawing out comparisons between different collections, items, content providers and countries. These comparative elements, along with the opportunity offered for individual archives to showcase their material, moves EUscreen beyond a site simply for accessing information and indicates a new way for audio visual material to be curated online. Users will not simply be able to access and view the material but to respond, engage and contribute to the material and to the wider issues and questions raised by the diverse site content.

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