IAMHIST master class on Media and History

LUCA School of Arts, Brussels, Belgium

Friday January 10th 2014.

Are you a graduate or doctoral student, post-doc, or young professional currently working on a project in which you engage issues concerning historical film, radio or television or issues in media history? Are you interested in presenting your project to a small group of experts and peers? Then this master-class of the International Association for Media and History may be just what you are looking for. Participants are expected to give a short introduction to their project and to prepare some central questions for discussion. Senior members of IAMHIST will engage with your paper and discuss sources and strategies for developing the project.

The day is designed to be a networking event for emerging scholars and media professionals and an opportunity to engage with leaders in the field in a less formal setting than an academic conference. There is no charge for attendance and lunch is included.

To apply for this event, send a 1-paragraph proposal of your project and a one paragraph bio to IAMIST president Nick Cull <cull @ usc.edu<mailto: cull@usc.edu>> and to IAMHIST secretary-general Leen Engelen <Leen.engelen @ khlim.be>. Deadline is November 20th 2013.

IAMHIST organizes bi-annual conferences and publishes the “Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television”, which examines the history of audio-visual media and its impact on political, social and cultural developments.

Call for Paper: ReClaiming Participation | Technology, Mediation & Collectivity Conference

ReClaiming Participation | Technology, Mediation & Collectivity Conference, Zurich University of the Arts, May 7 – 9, 2014

DFG-Network “Media of Collective Intelligence” | Institute for Critical Theory, Zurich University of the Arts | Research Initiative “Media and Participation”, University of Konstanz

Participation has become the key issue in popular, economic, and academic notions of New Media. The conference seeks to examine and unravel the debates of the “Participation Age”, rejecting a mere appraisal of the impact of contemporary media on participation. Instead of perpetuating euphoric visions of social “all-inclusion”, web democracy and collaboration as well as pessimistic views of exclusion, top-down hierarchy and the “digital divide”, we aim to reclaim collectivity as an effect of technological, historical and political conditions and practices.

We are seeking papers that offer a wide array of perspectives on the processes of collectivization and individuation in media environments. Topics may range from analyses of participatory objects and technological arrangements to the reciprocity and entanglement of formerly theoretically separated positions. We are welcoming contributions from theoretical considerations to case studies and examinations in the field of the arts. We particularly encourage PhD candidates and early career researchers to submit proposals.

Jean-Luc Nancy (Professor emeritus at Marc Bloch University in Strasbourg, France) and Claus Pias (Professor at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany) have confirmed as two of the three conference’s keynote speakers. The program includes three thematic sessions and closes with a final report by the members of the DFG-Network “Media of Collective Intelligence”:

1. Participation and the Claims of Community

2. Participatory Practices and Digital Media

3. Art and Media: Theory of Partaking

4. Final report and outlook of the DFG-Network “Media of Collective Intelligence”

Session I. Participation and the Claims of Community

As media policy, participation is accompanied by visions of being related or tied to something larger and superior. Claims for participation are often implicitly or explicitly connected to a certain idea of a greater unity: an imagination of collectivity or even collective intelligence. This session will question the claims of community in a double sense: if participation can be staged as a promise and a duty at the same time, what are the utopias of participation and what may be their dark sides? Which desires, attractions, and impositions are implied in requests for participation? Thinking of participatory processes as mediations between disparate human and technical entities also means reconsidering the obstacles of coordinating and matching these entities. What are the interface-processes supporting or impeding the building of communities?

Session II. Participatory Practices and Digital Media

New apps, internet platforms and software codes seem to enhance forms of distributed productivity and to open new possibilities to share ideas. Simultaneously, these media conditions, and hence the knowledge of (non-)participation, are inscribed in media and technical objects or devices. Based on this, the session will explore to what extent digital media and the rise of networks re-conceptualize user practices and vice versa. How can we address the reciprocal relations and transformational processes between technical objects predetermining socio-cultural practices in the same way as they are shaped by them? The aim of this session is thus to critically rethink digital participation. In addition to analyzing displays and interface designs, it aims to scrutinize the operations of software agents, bots, and hardware components, which contribute to and determine the possibilities of participation. Consequently, the central question to be discussed is, how can participation be thought of as a socio-technological process?

Session III. Art and Media: Theory of Partaking

This session will focus on theoretical and experimental approaches to the media conditions of participation. This concerns technological prerequisites, practices and techniques, as well as fundamental outlines of participatory being while anticipating a media theory of partaking. Considerations that focus on relational thinking have gained new urgency regarding the fundamentally relational concept of participation. This includes ecological approaches, relational ontology, and postulates of a technological milieu of individuation. By questioning the interconnection of technology, aesthetics, and philosophy, art has become a favored field for experiments with participation. Art and techniques thereby shall be considered in a wider sense as skills, tactics, and practices that might provide a possibility to subvert ideologies of inclusion and exclusion, demonstrating alternatives to the claims and impositions of participation.

We accept abstracts up to 500 words that should address topics and questions relating to one of the sessions. Please add a short CV to your proposal. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 31 December 2013. Please send abstract and CV to cfp@reclaimingparticipation.com. If you have any questions please refer to our Blog at http://reclaimingparticipation.com or send an email toinfo@reclaimingparticipation.com.

All presenters chosen for the conference are welcome to apply for a travel grant. Please fill out the form regarding refunding, also available on our Blog, to apply for a grant.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Doing Women’s Film and Television History

The Second International Conference of the Women’s Film and Television History Network – UK/Ireland will take place from 10th to 12th April 2014 at The University of East Anglia, UK.

Building on the success of the first ‘Doing Women’s Film History’ conference held in 2011, this three-day international conference will bring together researchers in women’s film and television history, archivists, curators and creative practitioners to explore and celebrate all aspects of women’s participation within the visual media industries across the globe and in all periods. The conference will provide a forum for the latest research into women’s work in film and television production (both on screen and off screen), in film distribution and exhibition, their roles in television ranging from presenters and personalities to commissioners and controllers, as well as women’s activities as film and television critics, consumers and fans.

Papers on any topic related to women’s film, television and media history are welcome. Also, the conference organisers invite all interested in hosting panels and strands on the following areas:

* women and documentary: whose voices, which audiences, to whose benefit?

* screenwriters and scriptwriting: the woman writer

* women’s contributions to non-Anglophone film and television industries

* feminist filmmakers and filmmaking collectives

* female film and television fan cultures

* teaching women’s film and television history

Proposals of 300 words for papers should be sent todoingwomensfilmandtvhistory@uea.ac.uk no later than 31st October 2013

Conference organisers: Laraine Porter (De Montfort University), Yvonne Tasker (University of East Anglia) and Melanie Williams (University of East Anglia)

European Television Memories

Third issue of open access VIEW Journal for European Television History & Culture highlights debates on how television fosters the moving borders of national memories.

VIEW issue 03 cover image

Cover image © Special collection Bibliothèque Forney

VIEW, the Journal of European Television History and Culture is the first peer-reviewed, multi-media and open access e-journal in the field of European television history and culture. It offers an international platform for outstanding academic research and archival reflection on television as an important part of our European cultural heritage. The journal is proud to present its third issue: European Television Memories. It has been guest-edited by Jérôme Bourdon & Berber Hagedoorn and is freely available at: http://www.viewjournal.eu

In the context of the fast development of memory studies, the third issue of VIEW highlights debates around the moving borders of national memories, fostered by television in the context of European history. The articles in this issue focus on the contribution of European television researchers, covering all three areas of media studies: production, text and reception. They touch upon a broad range of topics, including:

  • the reconstruction of the national past after regime changes in both Southern and Eastern Europe;
  • competing versions of the “same” past;
  • the fragile fostering of a European identity;
  • the regional/would-be national past.

The issue emphasizes the different ethnographic & historical uses of life-stories from television viewers. It hints at the possible changes to memory formation brought about by television in the post-network digital era. Finally, this issue charts the field of European television memories and suggests ways it can be researched further, both nationally and transnationally.

We wish you a pleasant and inspiring journey through European Television Memories!

Table of Contents

Editorial – Jérôme Bourdon,  Berber Hagedoorn

DISCOVERIES

  1. ‘Remembering Our First TV Set’. Personal Memories as a Source for Television Audience History – Cecilia Penati
  2. “It’s just so hard to bring it to mind”: The Significance of ‘Wallpaper’ in the Gendering of Television Memory Work – Hazel Collie
  3. Martin Luther in Primetime. Television Fiction and Cultural Memory Construction in Cold War Germany – Stewart Anderson
  4. The Production of Czechoslovakia´s Most Popular Television Serial ‘The Hospital on the Outskirts’ and its Post-1989 Repeats – Petr Bednařík
  5. Parallel Stories, Differentiated Histories. Exploring Fiction and Memory in Spanish and Portuguese Television – José Carlos Rueda Laffond, Carlota Coronado Ruiz, Catarina Duff Burnay, Susana Díaz Pérez, Amparo Guerra Gómez, Rogério Santos
  6. Looking for What You Are Looking for: A Media Researcher’s First Search in a Television Archive – Jasmijn Van Gorp

EXPLORATIONS

  1. Television as a Hybrid Repertoire of Memory. New Dynamic Practices of Cultural Memory in the Multi-Platform Era – Berber Hagedoorn
  2. Why Should We Study Socialist Commercials? – Anikó Imre
  3. Window to the West: Memories of Watching Finnish Television in Estonia During the Soviet Period – Annika Lepp, Mervi Pantti
  4. The Life and Afterlife of a Socialist Media Friend. On the Longterm Cultural Relevance of the Polish TV Series ‘Czterdziestolatek’ – Kinga S. Bloch
  5. Chronology and Ideology. Temporal Structuring in Israeli Historical Documentary Series – Bosmat Garami
  6. Great Escapes from the Past. Memory and Identity in European Transnational Television News – Andreas Widholm
  7. Memory, Television and the Making of the BBC’s ‘The Story of Wales’ – Steve Blandford, Ruth McElroy

Publishing info

VIEW is published by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in collaboration with Utrecht University, Maastricht University and Royal Holloway University of London. It is supported by the EUscreenXL project, the European Television History Network and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

Transnational Mediascapes Conference

CALL FOR PAPERS – Deadline for applications: February 28 th, 2013

In recent years, quite some progress towards a transnational point of view on historical processes and on contemporary developments has happened in the fields of television and sound studies – both finding shared theories, methodologies, and analytical tools, and identifying useful case studies and histories.

The conference Transnational Mediascapes: Sound and Vision in Europe will take place at the Department of Media and Performing Arts of the Catholic University of Milan on May 14th-15th, 2013. The conference is organised in association with Ce.R.T.A. – Centro di Ricerca sulla Televisione e gli Audiovisivi and ALMED – Alta Scuola in Media, Comunicazione e Spettacolo. Abstracts are invited for contributions to the two main topics of the conference:

Day 1: Transnational Television: Towards a Comparative TV History
Day 2: Transnational Soundscapes: Sound and the Media in Europe

Media studies have been forced by convergence, digitization and globalization to look beyond the traditional structure of national media systems, histories and habits, and to begin to analyse their phenomena according to a wider, and more complex, point of view. On one side, they have started to reconstruct the global flows of information and entertainment, the basis of a “mainstream culture” that unifies – at least partially – different geographical, political, social and cultural areas. On the other, they have begun to follow media products and trends in their complex paths across various countries and macro-regions, underlining both the differences and the deep similarities in shapes and meanings, in production processes as well as in consumption practices.

Day 1 – Transnational Television: Towards a Comparative TV History

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, May 14th, 2013

Following the comparative approach to European television established by recent works as Jonathan Bignell and Andreas Fickers’ A European Television History (2008) and Jérôme Bourdon’s Du service public à la télé-réalité. Une histoire culturelle des télévisions européennes (2011), the focus on trans-nationality in television is one of the most compelling and current challenges for TV studies. If the medium is still deeply national in many aspects, in fact, digitization and globalization include TV into wider multi-national exchanges of ideas, formats, programmes, genres, trends, and also viewing practices.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Jérôme Bourdon (Tel Aviv University), John Ellis (Royal Holloway, London), Peppino Ortoleva (University of Turin). There will be also the presentation of the latest issues of View. Journal of European Television History and Culture and Comunicazioni sociali.

Abstracts are invited for contributions to the conference that seek to compare television histories, genres, trends, production, and distribution practices across different countries and regions, in Europe as well as in the rest of the world, offering a wide approach on methods, theories and case histories.

Topics can include:

  • The (im)possibility of a transnational history of television;
  • Definitions and methods for the comparative approach;
  • Public Service Broadcasting, Commercial TV and Pay TV across different countries;
  • Logics of broadcasting in different countries;
  • Production practices in different countries;
  • Scheduling practices in different countries;
  • TV brands in different countries;
  • Genre definitions and redefinition in different countries;
  • Textual evolutions in different countries;
  • Consumption practices in different countries;
  • Transnational circulation of TV products;
  • Production and consumption macro-areas (i.e. European Community, English-speaking countries);
  • Original research findings on single case histories across two or more nations.

Scholars from all areas of TV and media studies are invited to submit proposals for contributions. Each speaker will have about 20 minutes of speaking time. Proposals (250 words, written in English, French or Italian), along with short biographical notes and key bibliographical references, are due by February 28 th. Submissions should be sent to Attilia Rebosio. Notifications of acceptance will be sent no later than March 10 th.

Day 2 – Transnational Soundscapes: Sound and the Media in Europe

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, May 15th, 2013

In post-WWII Europe, popular culture began to relate to a wide range of mediatized practices, at the centre of which the growing music industry essentially revolutionized the media- and soundscapes we live in. This already convergent network expressed a wider social change towards modernity, mobility, new gender relations, that could also be felt as a generational shift. For us today it seems likely to have been the place for the building of individual and collective life histories, allowing an interpretation in terms of personal and collective memories and cultural heritage.

In order to begin a reconceptualization of such cultural practices, we are in need of more information concerning the historical background, the modes of production and the industrial strategies, the textual and paratextual output and the patterns and ways of consumption that characterized the crucial encounter between audio-visual media and popular music, gathering different methodological perspectives as much as comparing different national or transnational trajectories.

As a consequence, the aim of this symposium is to explore from a comparative perspective, European popular culture in its crucial journey towards mediatization from 1945 to the Seventies, as an exemplary trajectory for its seemingly excessive foregrounding of music and sounds within the national film, radio and television cultures and the transnational mediascape. Topics of papers may include:

  • popular music and media industry
  • European Media industry vs American media industry
  • amplification and high fidelity;
  • audiovisual performance and the canonization of popular forms;
  • national/transnational pop music and culture;
  • popular music in film, radio and television;
  • cross-media singers and performers
  • stardom and fandom.

Confirmed keynote speakers are: Franco Fabbri (University of Turin), Andreas Fickers (Maastricht University), Wolfgang Mühl-Benninhaus (Humboldt Universität Berlin). Scholars from all areas of media and popular music studies are invited to submit proposals for contributions. Each speaker will have about 20 minutes of speaking time.

Proposals (max. 250 words, written in English, French or Italian), along with short biographical notes and key bibliographical references, are due by February 28 th. Submissions should be sent to Attilia Rebosio. Notifications of acceptance will be sent no later than March 10 th.

Calls for Papers on Commercial Television, Private Television and Waste

1. Call for papers: Moving at Different Speeds

Comunicazioni sociali, I, 2013. Monographic issue: Moving at Different Speeds. The Commercialization of Television Systems in Europe and its Consequences. Co-editors: Massimo Scaglioni, Luca Barra (Università Cattolica di Milano). Accepted languages: English, Italian, and French

This special issue of Comunicazioni sociali will analyze the gradual diffusion of several models of commercial TV throughout the decades into different nations across Europe. It aims to provide readers with an outline of the implications of commercialization at the social, cultural, institutional, political, textual and technological level, through case studies of individual nations or regions, comparative studies or theoretical analyses. Abstracts are invited for contributions to a special issue that will seek to further our understanding of the historical dynamics of TV commercialization that have differently shaped broadcasting systems in various European contexts: similarities and differences will emerge, contributing to a deeper comprehension both of European television histories and of the historical logics and developments of the medium.

Paper proposals (250-300 words, in English, French or Italian), along with short biographical notes and key bibliographical references, are due by October 31, 2012. Submissions should be sent to both the editors, Massimo Scaglioni (massimo.scaglioni@ unicatt.it) and Luca Barra (luca.barra@unicatt.it). Notifications of acceptance will be sent no later than November 15th, 2012. See the full CfP at: http://blog.euscreen.eu/?p=3263

2. Call for papers: Media Innovations & Private Television Conference

IBBT-SMIT-VUB organizes the Second International Symposium on Media innovations and the Private Television Conference in cooperation with the University of Oslo (Norway) on April 18-19, 2013

The Media Innovations Symposium explores how changing technologies, and changing modes of usage and engagement with media bring about innovation and transformation of the media industry and its policy. The second day will be a co-organization with the Private Television Conference and will be dedicated to innovations in the television broadcasting industry.

Send your 750-word extended abstract to info@mediainnovations.be by 15 November 2012. Topics/sectors: innovating in formats; innovating in business models; innovating in delivery (trying to reach the consumer in new ways) ; innovating in consumption practices (new roles of users).  Abstract acceptance will be announced in December 2012. Full paper deadline March 1st , 2013. The best paper award will be announced during the conference.

3. Call for papers: ‘Waste’.

NECSUS_European Journal of Media Studies #4, Autumn 2013  – Guest editors: Alexandra Schneider and Wanda Strauven


NECSUS is an international, open access, peer-reviewed journal of media studies published by Amsterdam University Press in partnership with NECS (European Network for Cinema and Media Studies). The journal is multidisciplinary and strives to bring together the best work in the field of media studies across the humanities and social sciences.
A special section of NECSUS will address the phenomenon of waste in the broad range of past and present media practices. We suggest to consider waste not only in terms of content or representation, but also and especially as a rhetoric, a method, or a strategy. At stake are issues such as the deterioration of film stock and VCR tapes, the future of dead media, the massive growth of electronic garbage, game consoles that can no longer be played due to the industry’s ‘planned obsolescence’, and the ephemerality of organic art. Waste is understood here in its multiple dimensions both as (everyday) matter and (conceptual) metaphor, as materiality and immateriality, as a socio-economical concern and artistic technique, and as repulsion and beauty.

Topics may include, but will not be limited to the (renewed) tradition of found footage; the archiving of bits and pieces; the aesthetics of decay; obsolete media devices; e-waste; biodegradable art works and installations; the display and concealment of waste in various media. NECSUS looks forward to receiving abstracts of 500 words and a short bio of no more than 150 words by 1 December 2012 at the following address: g.decuir@aup.nl. NECSUS also continues to accept a wide variety of abstracts for both full-length essays and short reviews that may not be related to a special section theme.

The Olympic Television Studies Seminar

On September 28th, 2012 the Television Studies Commission of the International Federation of Television Archives, FIAT/IFTA, organised a one-day seminar at the British Film Institute in London. It was the second international television studies seminar organized by the TSC, after the first one took place in Paris at l’Institut National de l’ Audiovisuel in 2010. The seminar brought together television studies scholars and television archivists from around the world. In the year of the London Olympics, the morning session discussed the theme ‘Sport and the Olympics’.

Report by Dana Mustata, University of Groningen

Mette Charis Buchman presenting DR

Dr. Eggo Müller from Utrecht University opened the event with a keynote speech on the Mediatization of Sport. He discussed sport in relation to a process of mediatization, zooming in on the diverse logics of sport and media and how the two intertwine. Arguing that sports and its mediatisation are in fact two sides of the some coin, Eggo Müller pointed out that the sports spectator’s has an intrinsic longing for mediatisation that is attained through processes of identification, representation and contemplation. Mette Charis Buchman from Danmarks Radio Archives continued the series of talks on sport and television with a visual journey through Danish archival footage on the Olympics, accompanied by brief history of Danmarks Radio Archives.

The afternoon sessions presented academic papers based on research done in several FIAT/IFTA member archives. In the panel Media and Politics, Ken Griffin from the University of Ulster drew upon research carried out at Ireland’s National Television and Radio Broadcaster RTÉ to discuss RTÉ ‘s early cross-border cooperation with the Northern Irish broadcaster UTV. Concepción Cascajosa from Carlos III University of Madrid illustrated footage from the Spanish broadcaster RTVE and discussed images of the masses as a representation of change in the aftermath of Franco’s death. Berber Hagedoorn from Utrecht University exemplified how Dutch broadcast archival footage is used in today’s multi platform television to visualize the history of World War II for young audiences in the Netherlands.

The last panel of the day, British Perspectives, provided insights into different aspects of the history of British television. Elinor Groom from Nottingham University presented the findings of her research at the BFI Archives on the early history of ITV’s regional franchise Southern Television. Lisa Kerrigan from the British Film Institute (BFI) introduced lost footage of British television drama, which was recently rediscovered at the Library of Congress. Nathan Budzinski discussed the British television documentary tradition, zooming in specifically on the work of John Grierson. At the end of the day, Dana Mustata from the University of Groningen presented the open access journal VIEW. She spoke about the collaborative practices between academics and archivists on the journal and the ways in which the journal promotes innovative ways of writing television histories in a multi-media environment, allowing the integration of archival sources within academic articles.

The seminar enabled a bridge of dialogue between television scholars and television archives and encouraged fruitful exchanges between them. Several members of the European Television History Network and EUscreen were present at the event. The seminar was organized under the umbrella of the FIAT/IFTA World Conference, which also hosted a joint EUscreen and Europeana panel. In the panel, Johan Oomen from the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision, David Smith from Europeana, Marco Rendina from Cinecittà Luce and Dana Mustata spoke about the accomplishments of EUscreen, offered a sneak preview into EUscreenXL and the future of online audiovisual archives and emphasized the value for television research of online audiovisual databases.

 Related posts

Report on the Final EUscreen Conference, Part 1 of 2

EUscreen organised its final conference on September 13 and 14, focusing on Television Heritage and the Web. We looked back on lessons learned, showcased the achievements of the project and looked at the road ahead. This conference report wraps up the conference topics and debates and was jointly edited by Brecht Declerq, Florian Delabie, Berber Hagedoorn, Yves Niederhäuser, Elke Poppe, Katja Šturm and Erwin Verbruggen. Presentations and video recordings of the conference will be made available over the next days at the conference overview page.

Television Heritage and the Web

Prof. Spigel responds (Photo: Miklós Varga)

The first EUscreen conference, held in 2010, focused on selecting and contextualising historical audiovisual media through links with existing sources on the web. The second conference, in 2011, focused on use and creativity in the audiovisual domain. This third conference revisited these topics and further developed related ideas, based on individual contributions in the field. It was the final conference in multiple ways, as Prof. Dr. Sonja de Leeuw, who led both EUscreen and its predecessing project Video Active, announced that she would step down as the project leader. A celebrated television scholar, she chaired most, if not all of the previous EUscreen conferences, and opened this Budapest conference with a warm welcome and remarks on the current status of television research and the role of the EUscreen project.

Keynote speaker prof. Lynn Spigel started off the conference with an outline of her upcoming book, which focuses on the visualisation of mass culture through personal archives. She researched the representation of television sets in mass-media (magazines, ads, etc.) and family snapshots. Advertisements and snapshot photographs represent very specific and individual ways of incorporating the television set as an everyday object. The images in family albums seem to document an inversion of the use of TV – instead of “watching TV”, the set becomes an accessory for personal performance instead. Throughout the ‘50 and ‘60s, people adopted televisions in many and unintended ways and used it to condense, stage and amplify the individual and the family life. On nowaday’s online platforms, snapshots of television sets with a personal, sentimental as well as a commercial value aggregate to become a shared popular culture that merges analogue nostalgia and digital culture.

Wilfried Runde leads an interdisciplinary R&D-Team with 14 people at Deutsche Welle that follows and analyses trends and major changes in the media world. One of these changes is the shift from linear TV consumption to ways of media consumption that don’t depend on timely or spatial constrictions. Social media clearly play a key role in this context. The main interest for the media production industry is in the take-over of breaking news by social media platforms such as Reddit), which are faster than mainstream media could ever be. Social media changed the attitude of media consumers in that they no longer are looking for news but assume that relevant news will find their way to them. The question now for media corporations is what they can learn from these changes. Runde sees one of the answers in data-driven-journalism and sees a form of “data-tainment” emerging. In the discussion it was pointed out that data-driven journalism has to approach data as critical as it approaches other sources for journalistic research. As long as the basic methods of critical journalism are kept in place, contemporary technology allows journalists to do their work faster, working with data collections as a new source.

Wilfried Runde

Wilfried Runde (Photo: Miklós Varga)

Prof. Eggo Müller is not only a renowned television scholar, but will from March on lead the follow-up project EUscreenXL. His presentation Television Heritage Online: From Accessible to Participatory Archives focused on the participation imperative. The engagement of users with online television content, from sear

ching to commenting, offers new possibilities that archivists could explore. In this context, Müller discussed Isto Huvila’s notion of participatory archiving of which the fundamental characteristics are “decentralised curation, radical user orientation and contextualisation of both records and the entire archival process“. As there are very engaged people documenting TV heritage out there, participatory archives could provide the platform where users become contributors to archives and archivists act as moderators and supervisors of this process.

The subsequent round table concluded that many fascinating stories can be told from the archives with respect to how objects are found, researched and presented. Making this ‘implicit’ knowledge ‘explicit’ could provide a good starting point for putting participatory archiving into practice.

EUscreen Showcase

András Kovács (Photo: Miklós Varga)

András Kovács (Photo: Miklós Varga)

Looking back on what has been done, drawing the lessons and building bridges to the future were the aims of the afternoon session of the first conference day. EUscreen’s seven work package leaders got the opportunity to each shed some light on the achievements of their part of the project. Vassilis Tzouvaras and his team at NTUA faced the challenge of creating interoperable solutions to the heterogeneity of metadata. It’s a nice example of a day-to-day problem in audiovisual archives that in theory has long been solved theoretically (there’s broad support for EBUcore for example), but remains tough in practice. Marco Rendina from the Luce archives in Italy reported about the conferences and workshops that spread the word on EUscreen and connected the scholarly, educational, technological and archival groups that cooperate in the project. With a record of three conferences, eight workshops and three extra workshops at the annual FIAT/IFTA conferences, EUscreen has found a wide response in the designated archive user communities.

Rob Turnock from Royal Holloway discussed EUscreen’s activities on information and access. His challenge was to bring the project and all the valuable content to the web in such a way that they made sense as a whole. A well-developed content selection policy and a common metadata scheme (based on EBUcore) provided the toolbox to get the job done. The final result is a real tour de force: 40.000+ items online, two comparative exhibitions, 11 virtual exhibitions made by individual content providers and, last but not least, two editions of the open access online journal (one to appear in October).

A web site is nothing without its audience. András Bálint Kovács from Eötvös Loránd University led the work package that researched and enhanced the user experience, which aimed at education, academics, reuse and the general public. András and his colleagues managed to translate the remarks of the educational sector into an easier and more attractive user interface for EUscreen. Differing IPR issues between countries and target groups remain challenging and will certainly roar their heads again in EUscreen’s successor, EUscreenXL. Pelle Snickars from Sweden’s National Library stressed the diversity of needs amongst user groups. His main challenge was to unite and target the comments of different users, coming from different perspectives.

The final work package focused on disseminating the project’s results and attracting a growing audience. Erwin Verbruggen from the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision presented EUscreen’s activities on this level. Results were disseminated at more than 150 events and in more than 200 articles. EUscreen’s technical coordinator Johan Oomen, from Sound and Vision provided the conference audience with some future perspectives on the follow-up project, EUscreenXL, which will involve 32 partners from 22 European countries.

Prof. de Leeuw opens the conference (Photo: Miklós Varga)

To conclude, EUscreen’s ambitions are all but limited. The creation of an open platform for the European audiovisual heritage collections can hardly be called a walk in the park, but is a big step that connects broadcasters from different cultural and economical backgrounds all over Europe. Media creators and broadcaster’s archives are in the middle of a massive cultural and institutional shift, in which traditional restricted access is challenged and models for openness are explored. The EUscreen project provides these archives-in-transition a platform to share experiences and learn form each other what models for providing access, content and context may or may not work. The shared goal is to build and improve upon an environment that provides the best experience for those users wanting to explore the rich cultural treasure troves they each hold.

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