World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

Today, 27 October, is World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.

Two ITP fellows who work in the field, Chithra Kallur and Yara Abbas, are sharing some thoughts with you below on the importance of audiovisual heritage – enjoy!

Yara Abbas, Research Assistant, The Palestinian Museum (ITP 2016)

A Traditional wedding in Rama village, Upper Galilee, 1970-1975. From the family album of Rula Jeries © The Palestinian Museum

A traditional wedding in Rama village, Upper Galilee, 1970-1975. From the family album of Rula Jeries © The Palestinian Museum

As a Research Assistant and Assistant Curator at the Palestinian Museum, I have learned with time the importance of all forms of audiovisual heritage, particularly for Palestine. The majority of Palestinians are refugees living outside Palestine since the 1948 Nakba, and currently there are restrictions on the movement of Palestinians inside the Palestinian Territories. Hence, the best way to tell the story and preserve the history of Palestine and the Palestinians is oral history, testimonies, movies, songs, photos, and any other audiovisual material, which can be digitised and can acquire the widest possible outreach virtually. I am currently working on Palestinian Journeys, to be launched early 2018. This project will take the form of an online website, and includes a chronological timeline, as well as stories in text, alongside audiovisual material to support the stories. The project will also include short videos with personal testimonies related to the stories on the website.

Chithra Kallur, Head Archivist, Museum of Art and Photography, Bangalore (ITP 2017)


Impersonation of the spirit deity Panjurli, Kurthodi village, Karnataka, India

Oral traditions serve as great source for understanding cultural practices, religious and artistic traditions. On the Indian subcontinent, the largest segment of artistic practices are intrinsically associated with an abundant array of oral traditions. These oral traditions provide a nuanced view of the way artistic practices have evolved. My study of the Daiva (Bhuta) cult, a possession-oriented spirit worship practice from the west coast of India has focused on bringing orals traditions and ritual practices together in order to address the heterogeneity of artistic practice. The Pardanas, the oral narratives recited during the possession of spirits that embody the collective memories of family, clan, and community have been central to my work. Taking this exploration further, I am currently engaged in a study of performance traditions from Karnataka for a permanent exhibition at Janapada Loka Folklore Museum near Bangalore, India.