I recently learned that IFLA’s Professional Committee has approved a proposal from the Section of Library Theory and Research to hold a pre-congress satellite meeting in Cape Town in August 2015.
The theme of the meeting is “Digital preservation as a site of contestation: national heritage, memory, politics and power – beyond technology and management”. It will address interesting issues of ownership and control of a country’s heritage, memory and traditional/ indigenous knowledge in a digital environment. Related to these are questions about what we mean, for example, by the metaphors of “national memory” and “nation building” in postcolonial situations, and what the roles of libraries and archives can be in such a context.
The Satellite meeting is planned for 12 and 13 August 2015. It will be held in two venues. On the first day we will meet on the campus of the University of the Western Cape (UWC), in the outskirts of Cape Town. This is an appropriate venue as UWC hosts the Mayibuye Archive, which is part of the Robben Island Museum. On the second day we will take the ferry from Cape Town to Robben Island itself, where the rest of the programme will take place, along with a guided tour of the prison compound where liberation struggle leader and South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, was incarcerated.
This should be a memorable event, which will be of interest to IFLA members and other interested persons concerned with digital preservation of documentary heritage, including librarians responsible for digitization and digital collections management, archivists, museum curators; also historians and other academics. Members of First Nations communities concerned with the preservation of their traditional/indigenous knowledge and ethical management thereof are also among the potential audience.
Watch out for the Satellite Meeting announcement in the run-up to the 2015 IFLA World Library and Information Congress!