Recontextualizing Audiovisual Archives: Immigrants and Remixing practices

Thursday, 5 February 2015
17:00 – 19:00
Aalto Media Factory, Arabia
Dr. Mariana Salgado

How could immigrants interpret and enrich audiovisual cultural heritage through remix practices? How could new media design strategies support social inclusion? Guided by these two questions, I set up a series of participatory design explorations with immigrant groups living in Finland. The participants told stories reusing online audiovisual archive material. The analysis of these cases reveals that there is a need for new media design strategies for including the voices of immigrants in the archive.  I argue that social inclusion is seldom part of the new media design strategies for the development of these online archives.
Who could appropriate the archive for reuse? Who could add their own content and organize it? Design decisions are in the core of  current limitations of the online archives regarding their future development. The challenge for inclusive archives is to lift the barriers hindering the input of the general public, not only in regard to the content but also considering the design initiatives. This is a challenge because most of the efforts are devoted to conserve the material, while it could be also relevant to think about how and by whom the archives could be used in the future. In remixing online archival material, most often than not, priority is given to archivists and researchers. I demonstrate that planning and intentionality are required concerning the engagement of amateur practices and inputs for more inclusive audiovisual archives.

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