SEAPAVAA, founded in 1996, is an association of organizations and individuals involved in, or interested in the development of audiovisual archiving in a particular geographic region – the countries of Southeast Asia (the ten member nations of ASEAN), Australasia (Australia and New Zealand), and the Pacific Islands (Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia) It particularly aims to promote audiovisual archiving and to preserve and provide access to the region’s rich audiovisual heritage.
In April 2001, the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archive Associations (CCAAA) (1) accepted SEAPAVAA into membership – the first regional association to join the group. Later in the same year, SEAPAVAA has formally been admitted into operational relations with UNESCO as an NGO to pursue common goals in the service of international cooperation and development.
The idea of forming a regional association first came up in the Conference Workshop on ASEAN Audio/Video and Film Retrieval, Restoration and Archiving held in Manila in 1993. In this conference, the participants drew up a framework for a comprehensive program for film/video archiving including a recommendation to form an ASEAN confederation of film archivists to promote the development of film/video archiving in the region.
At the ASEAN Training Seminar on Film and Video Archive Management, a project of the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (2), held in Canberra, Australia in May 1995, the participants from Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand pursued the idea of a regional association envisioned to provide a mechanism to address common issues and concerns related to the collection, preservation and provision of access to the audio visual heritage of member countries. The Steering Committee and other interim committees were constituted by the participants to pursue the formal establishment of the association within the prescribed terms of reference.
The Steering Committee met in Bangkok, Thailand to finalize the constitution that would be presented during the inaugural assembly.
The Southeast Asia-Pacific Audio Visual Archives Association was legally constituted and launched in Manila, Philippines in February 1996, when the association also held its First General Assembly to ratify its Constitution, elect its officers and plan its first year programs and activities.
(1) The CCAAA represents the interests of worldwide professional archive organisations with interests in audiovisual materials including films, broadcast television and radio, and audio recordings of all kinds. Although predominantly working in the public sector, we reflect a broad range of interests across the broadcast media, arts, heritage, education and information sectors. The professional archivists that the CCAAA ultimately represents work in institutions such as archives, libraries and museums at national and local level, university teaching and research departments, and broadcasting organisations.
The Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA) traces its origins to the Roundtable of Audiovisual Records, which was organized in 1981 in response to the UNESCO report Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images (1980). The report called for cooperation and coordination between organizations tasked with preserving the world's audiovisual heritage. The five founding members were:
International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF)
International Federation of Television Archives (FIAT/IFTA).
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
International Association of Sound Archives (IASA)
International Council on Archives (ICA)
(2) ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (COCI): Responsible for the formulation, implementation and review of culture and information projects for funding by the ASEAN Cultural Fund (ACF). The ASEAN Committee for Culture and Information (ASEAN COCI) was set up in October 1978. Its aim is to promote effective cooperation in the fields of culture and information for the purpose of enhancing mutual understanding and solidarity among the peoples of ASEAN as well as in furthering regional development. To this end, various projects and activities, ranging from an ASEAN Youth Camp to news exchanges among ASEAN media, are conducted each year.
There also are workshops and other activities to nurture talent and promote interaction among ASEAN scholars, writers, artists and media practioners.Activities in the area of culture include the protection, conservation and preservation of cultural heritage, cultural promotion and the production of cultural showcases. More recently, ASEAN cultural officials have been working on issues such as human resource development in the culture sector and small and medium-sized cultural industries. Activities in the information sector involves implementing communications projects aimed at raising ASEAN awareness and to generate a positive perception of ASEAN.
The ASEAN-COCI has two sub-committees, one dealing with culture and the other with information. These sub-committees plan, implement and monitor projects approved and funded by the ASEAN-COCI.
At the same time, there is in each ASEAN Member State an ASEAN National COCI that oversees the coordination and implementation of ASEAN-COCI projects and activities. The ASEAN National COCI comprises representatives from the foreign ministries and ministries of culture and information, national radio and television networks, heritage boards, museums, archives and libraries.