Today is Audio-Visual Heritage Day.
The 2012 Theme is “Audiovisual heritage memory? The clock is ticking.”
Audiovisual documents, such as films, radio and television programmes, are our common heritage and contain the primary records of the 20th and 21st century history. These documents help to maintain the cultural identity of a people; but countless documentary treasures have disappeared since the invention of image and sound technologies that permit the peoples of the world to better share their experiences, creativity and knowledge.
Audio-visual footage of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle is part of our cultural heritage as a nation. However, over the past three decades it has been used as a political baton to orchestrate an image of certain political parties as true revolutionaries and the rest of the population as sell-outs and stooges of the West. This is unacceptable as the footage is our common heritage as Zimbabweans.
As Irina Bokova-Director General of UNESCO points out audiovisual heritage is vital for denouncing cultural, religious or other stereotypes that are the seedbeds of intolerance. Hence Zimbabwean footage of the liberation struggle should be used to unite Zimbabweans and enhance the nation’s appreciation of our history rather than entrenching political divides.