Apologies for the lack of updates– the past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity!
I recently wrote a guest post for the WITNESS blog entitled, “Building a Network for Human Rights Archives and Archivists”: http://archive.witness.org/2009/10/28/building-a-network-for-human-rights-archives-and-archivists/
“In recent years, archival institutions and organizations have become increasingly concerned with issues regarding human rights records and archival collections. Questions of access, privacy, politics, trust, and ensuring the safety of those documenting abuses and potentially controversial records all impact archivists working with human rights collections. Furthermore, the difficult subject matter contained in records of human rights abuses may require additional support for processing archivists who must confront images and accounts of atrocities daily.”
The WITNESS Hub blog posted an EXCELLENT blog post earlier this week with a spotlight on human rights archives: http://hub.witness.org/ArchivesHumanRights
From the post:
“October 27th marks World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, started in 2005 by UNESCO in order to help “build global awareness of the various issues at stake in preserving audiovisual heritage.” Not so long ago, this lack of awareness almost resulted in the loss of the last remaining video documentation of Neil Armstrong’s historic moon landing. Deterioration and loss due to time, handling, improper storage, and poor documentation continue to threaten much of the world’s moving image heritage.
Among these irreplaceable materials are collections devoted to human rights. The recently released “Right to Truth” document from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights asserts that “the recognition that archives and archivists play a central role in undergirding human rights has grown over the last decade.” Human rights archives are increasingly playing a pivotal role in advocacy, restorative justice, historical memory, and struggles against impunity. And audiovisual documentation – which must be preserved – has become a key component of human rights campaigns.
Below you will find resources, tools, videos, and information on both human rights on archives and archiving. We hope it will be a resource for archivists, activists, or anyone seeking to learn more about these topics.”
Read more at http://hub.witness.org/ArchivesHumanRights