8th Biennial of Moving Images
5 November - 12 December 1999

memoriav 6

            Centre for Contemporary Images

The association known as MEMORIAV (Association for the preservation of the audiovisual heritage of Switzerland) was founded on December 1st, 1995. The Founding Members are:

Swiss National Library, Berne; Swiss Federal Archive, Berne; Swiss National Sound Archive, Lugano; Swiss Film Archive, Lausanne; Swiss National Broadcasting Company, Berne; Federal Office for Communication, Biel. The Swiss Foundation for the Preservation and Conservation of Photographic Heritage, Neuchatel has been chosen in 1998 as a founding member to represent the area of photography.

HUBER Laurence (CH)
Hell, Suisse, 1998
(international competition)

According to the statues one supplementary founding member should be integrated at a later point in time to represent the field of video production.

The essential concept of the association is creating a network of all resources in Switzerland which are already engaged in different fields in the task of rescuing and conserving audiovisual cultural heritage. The legal form of the association was created with a view toward being able to eventually integrate other national or regional institutions concerned with the preservation of audiovisual documents. Memoriav hopes to develop close collaboration with authors and producers of audiovisual documents, with representatives of science and research fields, with societies responsible for legal rights, and with all persons or institutions interested in this theme.

Memoriav's history already extends back several years. Here are some highlights:
A process of sensitization in the political arena began in 1989 with the so-called "Motion Uchtenhagen," inspired by the new law on radio and television, which proposed "solutions within the framework of existing and new institutions to create a central sound and video archive" The Swiss Parliament referred the motion as a postulate to the Federal Council. In late 1990 the Federal Office of Culture initiated the taskforce known as the "Groupe de travail patrimoine audiovisuel" (Working group for audiovisual heritage).
The group included representation by the most important institutes concerned nationally with archiving audiovisual cultural heritage. In 1992 the taskforce presented its concept: the founding of the CIAV (Centre d'information de l'audiovisuel: Audiovisual Information Center). A "National Mediatheque" was entrusted with the task of acting as a center for rescuing AV documents from destruction, in addition to archiving and restoring them and making them available to the public. The initial investment was 43 million Swiss Francs with an additional yearly budget of eight million Swiss Francs for ongoing operational costs. It soon became clear, however, that the project could not be realized due to the financial situation of the federal government. Nevertheless, with the support of the Federal Council, a major sensitization campaign entitled "A Country Is Losing Its Memory" was initiated. The goal of developing an economical and immediately realizable concept eventually lead to realization of the RIAV (Reseau d'information de l'audiovisuel: Audiovisual Information Resource), a decentralized network concept which acted as the foundation for the present Memoriav association.

Wednesday 10.11.99 (4pm - 6 pm)
MEMORIAV, Presentation of current and future projects
Kurt Deggeller, Director
Katharina Bürgi, Public Relations
Pierre Smolik, Federal Office for Communication