On Thursday, 7 October 2021, from 10h00 GMT, Broadcast Media Africa (BMA), in partnership with Apricity Consulting, will be hosting a virtual forum on “Risks And Disaster Safeguarding For Audio-Visual Archives In Africa”.
Leading to the Online Forum, BMA conversed with Caroline Caruelle, the Founder Associate of Archive TV. During the conversation, Caroline Caruelle highlighted the convenience of the digital world. Moreover, Caruelle raised concerns within this digital shift, noting that digitisation has led to a decline in production costs and low-cost contents access. Furthermore, Caroline hoped that the forthcoming online forum and the industry programme would offset attendees to be solution-minded rather than focusing on problem areas.
Below is the excerpt of BMA’s conversation with Caroline Caruelle:
BMA: What influenced your decision to agree to participate in the Online Forum on “Risks And Disaster Safeguarding For Audio-Visual Archives In Africa”?
Caroline Caruelle: During my professional experiences, I oversaw many audio-visuals and film heritage for various clients. I experimented with many types of risks and disasters for which our job was to put in place good practices to avoid them happening.
I am happy to share the type of risks and disaster safeguarding with the Broadcast Media audience, not to frighten people but to help to build action plans.
BMA: What aspects of the audio-visual archiving and preservation sector are you passionate about?
Caroline Caruelle: Televisions archives are fascinating because of the diversity of programmes and because archives are held by broadcasters who are not always, or not often, the right-owners of the programmes; nevertheless, considering its role and position on the market, preservation is assumed as part of its missions. It looks acceptable for “traditional” TV broadcasters, but what about web-based broadcasters for digital-born productions? Are they also concerned by preserving the files they were given to display?
Corporate contents are essential and could benefit more attention because they tell a lot about the history of peoples and countries.
Film archives are essential because sustaining its film production, supporting the rebirth of old films, are building and enforcing its own culture.
Considering these different sectors, building new revenues lines for archives contents, creating a positive equation out of preserving archives contents is my passion.
BMA: What is the biggest industry challenge currently concerning the safeguarding of audio-visual archives?
Caroline Caruelle: Scope of volumes, the scope of budgets. I started in the ’90s, and till 2005/2006, safeguarding audio-visual archives meant taking care of an object, a film reel, a tape for which the owner was known or at least defined. Chase duplicates, focus on patrimonial assets (original / master) and apply preservation good practices are processes we have the knowledge and equipment for.
The digital transition of our sector is excellent news; creativity has increased massively, costs of production have gone down, more people can afford low-cost access to content. However, masters are not objects anymore; they are files. So where are the masters-files, who hold them, who is in charge of migration, preservation, safeguarding? Do we think our industry can afford for few more decades such scaling growth of zettabytes?
Hopefully, artificial intelligence helps to index contents. Hopefully, Scientifics are working to compress volumes and keep quality, to invent new types of storage (DNA data storage, holographic data storage…), but does this come with the safeguarding good-practise manual and the budget needed for?
BMA: In your opinion, what do you think can be done to improve business continuity strategies applied during disruptions?
Caroline Caruelle: We are part of a specific sector that is cultural and creative industries; business continuity managers cannot be only computer/IT-oriented people; they must understand specificities of cultural industries. So probably starting point would be to train and hire more business continuity managers specialised for our audio-visual organisations and make sure they report to the highest level within the organisation, so the practises and concerns are funded.
BMA: Could you please tell us what you hope fellow participants will take away from this industry event?
Caroline Caruelle: I would like the audience to not leave the conference with fears but a set of starting point solutions.