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Panel 19, June 19, 2012, 11:00am-12:30pm
Moderator: Alison Hicks (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Presenters: Samuel Wicks (University of Pittsburgh); Tina Gross (St. Cloud State University); Sarah G. Wenzel (University of Chicago); Carolyn Palaima (The University of Texas at Austin); Laura Shedenhelm (University of Georgia); Barbara Alvarez (University of Michigan)
Rapporteur: Lisa Gardinier (University of Iowa)
Alison Hicks introduced the presenters and explained the pecha kucha format. Generally speaking, pecha kucha presentations are 20 slides for 20 seconds each for a presentation of 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
In the first presentation, “What Digital Collection? Issues of Collection Development, Cataloging Trends and Standards, and Ethical Considerations of Underground Music in the Caribbean and Latin America,” Samuel Wicks explored initial considerations in planning a digital collection for Latin American punk music. A collection such as the one proposed potentially includes media in a variety of formats, including text, images, audio, and video, from a variety of original carriers, including audio cassettes, vinyl records, ephemera, and fan zines. Wicks discussed open source digital collection management software, briefly reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of systems in relation to this project, including Archon, DSpace, ICA-AtoM, and Greenstone. Ultimately, CONTENTdm provides the most robust platform capable of handling audio and video files in addition to text and images, as well as allowing the creation of compound documents to group related items. Wicks created a “materials and techniques” metadata elements to more adequately describe objects such as album covers. Wicks also looked for other punk collections. He found a variety of projects, such as museum exhibits in Slovenia and Reno, Nevada; the Fugazi Live Series with the support of the original band; and fan-created digital collections like Killed by Death Records and Kill from the Heart. Finally, Wicks briefly discussed the challenge of identifying and obtaining copyright permission from members of sometimes obscure punk bands that have not been active since the early 1980s.
Because Wicks had to leave for the airport immediately after his presentation, there was a short question and answer period before moving on to the next presenter.
Miguel Valladares-Llata (University of Virginia) asked about the availability of the presentation. Hicks confirmed that she would post the presenters’ slides on the SALALM blog.
Laura D. Shedenhelm (University of Georgia) asked if links would be included. [At the time of writing this report, the slides have been posted on the SALALM blog, but links have not been compiled and posted.]
Meagan Lacy (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) commented that her library had difficulty identifying the copyright owners of a journal included in a digital collection. The journal itself did not include any copyright information. The library chose to post the content with a note that the copyright holder should contact the library and the library would remove the material if requested. Wicks commented that a similar practice is commonly seen on YouTube, in which content is posted with a note that the person posting the material does not own it, does not intend to profit from it, and will remove it if requested.
An unidentified librarian from NALIS commented that Greenstone is capable of handling audio files, as the NALIS Digital Library runs on Greenstone and includes mp3 files, notably in the storytelling collection. [Wicks later verified that the version of Greenstone he used was not capable of supporting audio files.]
Kumaree Ramtahal (University of the West Indies, St. Augustine) asked Wicks to elaborate on the process of uploading video in DSpace. Wicks used KeepVid to extract a file from YouTube and other streaming video.
In the second presentation, “Developing Local Cataloging Procedures for Access to Foreign-Language Films,” Tina Gross discussed providing better access to foreign films for patrons. Standard cataloging practice focuses on the physical object which, in the case of films, describes the location of the publisher, not the production of the original film. Patrons looking for foreign film, however, frequently want to search by country of production. Two new MARC fields, 257 and 044, have been introduced to capture “Country of Publishing/Producing Entity.” However, many integrated library systems are not configured to include that as a searchable field. Further, many OPACs do not distinguish between the MARC coding for the primary language of the film and the subtitles, making it difficult to search for a film based on its original language. Gross and the staff of the St. Cloud State University Library reasoned that activating the search functionality of the new MARC fields or language coding was a low priority for their ILS vendor, especially with the impending implementation of RDA, but still an important search strategy for their patrons. Gross and her colleagues chose to add local subject headings in the 655 genre/form fields:
Foreign language films – Language.
Motion pictures – Country.
These headings are browseable in the old catalog interface and appear as genres in the next-generation catalog with faceted search capabilities.
Sarah G. Wenzel followed with her presentation, “Patron- or Demand-Driven Acquisition: Strategies for Successful Implementation.” At Chicago, selectors were allowed to implement patron-driven acquisitions (PDA) however they best saw fit for their collections and patrons. This case-by-case implementation was chosen to foster support and buy-in from the selectors. Wenzel and her colleagues were seeking solutions to three primary questions: how to supplement selection without a budget increase, how to streamline and speed up selection, and how to serve faculty and other patrons who normally have little or no contact with the selector. The PDA program has not changed existing approval plans but adds a new approach to slips titles, or titles that are not completely peripheral to the collection but not core titles either. In Wenzel’s experience, this has not interfered with purchasing and she has made titles available by PDA rather than adding them to a desiderata list. Slips profiles have required some tweaking. Wenzel gave the science collections as an example in that they added “how-to” titles for programming languages, which they normally do not purchase but there is a point-of-need demand. Other selectors have imposed price limits on purchases and budget ceilings on call number ranges to preserve their existing budgeting patterns. Wenzel and other selectors use usage and PDA purchase statistics available through Ebrary to inform purchases, especially in fields in which they have little contact with faculty and students. Since records for PDA titles are loaded in the online catalog, purchases are not constrained by the availability of the paper book, but can be bought on demand, be it tomorrow or in five years. If a publisher ceases to offer their content by PDA but the library has already bought it, the library does not lose access, as opposed to the risk of losing content in a leased collection. Overall, selectors at Chicago who have participated in the PDA program and have spent the time to tailor their profiles have been happy with the program. Chicago would like to see more vendors offer PDA purchasing as the practice enriches the library’s catalog and provides greater access to patrons.
In the next presentation, “Collaborative Digital Archiving: A Non-Custodial Approach,” Carolyn Palaima discussed the Primeros Libros project as a case study. In this project, the University of Texas at Austin has worked with Texas A&M University and the Biblioteca Lafragua of the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla to digitize New World incunabula, beginning with those published in Mexico. The collection is defined, also the first step in building a digital collection, as books printed in the New World before 1601, of which there are 220 known titles and 136 known to still exist. Primeros Libros’ initial focus are those printed in Mexico and to include as many exemplars of each work as possible. The next step in such a project is to identify lead partners in content, technical aspects, and digital preservation. University of Texas and Texas A&M are the initial partners, with 16 and 18 primeros libros respectively. The main Mexican partner, the Biblioteca Lafragua, was chosen more for its willingness to commit to the project than for its holdings. Initial content partners had as little as one item to contribute to the project. Scanning standards were developed by University of Texas and Texas A&M. The project website with access to the complete collection was designed and is hosted by University of Texas. In terms of digital preservation, the TIFF images are stored with the Texas Digital Libraries Preservation Network and the Repositorio Digital Mexicano. All partner institutions receive a complete collection of TIFF and/or derivative images. The primary documentation for partnership is the project agreement and the digitization standards. Both are available in English or Spanish on the Primeros Libros website. Both University of Texas and Texas A&M set up scanning stations and trained staff to digitize their collections of primeros libros. A mobile scanning station was set up in Puebla with trained staff, which can travel to other content partners in Mexico. Other content partners are brought into the project based on institutional holdings. The project is non-custodial as materials do not have to be physically acquired by the organizing institution, digitization takes place locally, each partner receives a complete collection of the digital images, and the framework of the project can be adapted to the needs of participating collections. The project achieves a consolidated collection of dispersed holdings, allowing comparison of copies across institutions, and demonstrates international collaboration. University of Texas has used the non-custodial model in previous digital collections, notably the Human Rights Documentation Initiative and the Guatemalan National Police Historical Archive (AHPN).
The following presentation, “Library Outreach Using Library a la Carte (TM)” by Laura D. Shedenhelm discussed adapting selective dissemination of information (SDI) as a value-added service to Library à la Carte, an open-source content management system intended for subject and course library guides. Shedenhelm learned SDI in library school and used it early in her career in law firm libraries. In her current position as the Bibliographer for Latin America, Spain, and Portugal, she has used it to open lines of communication to faculty and students by capturing content about Latin America, Spain, and Portugal in otherwise general works, especially those that are not classed in the usual F and PQ call number ranges. While some of these titles would be readily apparent from scanning the New Titles List, the link for that list is a small one on the library catalog. Many of the chapters in other general works are searchable unless the table of contents is listed in a catalog record and are delayed in their inclusion in index databases. Shedenhelm used to gather new titles and relevant chapters in a document that she e-mailed to her liaison departments but she now maintains a Library à la Carte page, “Spanish & Portuguese: New Works in the Libraries.” Once a month she creates a list of the newest material and saves the old list as attached files, which are available for a year.
In the final presentation, “Publish, Not Perish! Supporting Graduate Students as Publishing Authors,” Barbara Alvarez discussed a workshop on publishing for graduate students. Alvarez and a colleague observed that they saw graduate students mostly early in their studies and less as they progressed. They felt, however, that research was only the beginning and they could offer support through the publishing process as well. While publish-or-perish is often associated with junior faculty, it creates anxiety amongst graduate students as well, who are concerned with making themselves competitive in a shrinking academic job market. Graduate students, though, may be reluctant to ask for advice from their professors and senior faculty may be decades removed from the experience of publishing as an early-career scholar. University of Michigan Libraries now house the University of Michigan Press as a department within the libraries, including MPublishing, which provides publishing consultation services and employs publishing outreach librarians, providing a natural partner for this project. Alvarez and her colleagues first began with a survey to find if such a workshop was needed and to identify what questions students have about the publishing process. The survey reported interest from students at all stages of graduate studies, including beginning students. Working from the survey results, they sought to address the following in a one-hour workshop:
the current publishing environment with information on Open Access and authors’ rights (covered by publishing consultants)
what and when to publish (covered by an invited junior faculty member with a strong publishing record)
how to select journals and publishers (covered by Alvarez)
how to respond to reviewers’ feedback
Future plans include open sessions available to students in all disciplines on general issues such as authors’ rights and sharing the workshop model with subject librarians to create discipline-specific workshops. Overall, the workshop was well-received. Alvarez and her colleagues concluded that it makes sense for librarians to be involved in the publishing process as an extension of research training. Graduate students may find the rapidly changing publishing environment to be overwhelming but it is a natural topic for librarians to keep up with. The workshop also supports change in academic publishing by educating young scholars about Open Access and their rights as authors.
Graduate Students’ Guide to Publishing: http://guides.lib.umich.edu/gradspublishing
Questions & Comments:
Palaima asked Alvarez if the LibGuide is freely available. Alvarez replied that it is.
Anne Barnhart (University of West Georgia) asked if Alvarez had worked with faculty, as she has noticed that faculty need guidance on publishing strategy as well. Alvarez replied that they are especially hoping to attract faculty to the discipline-specific and focused topic workshops. Faculty present a lot of opportunity for this program, such as inviting currently active faculty for informal, focused conversation with their colleagues and graduate students.
Meagan Lacy asked Alvarez what departments were represented in the graduate students who attended the workshop. Alvarez replied that the initial workshop focused on Romance Languages and Literatures students as an experiment. They are planning to talk with other subject librarians to share details and offer the survey for reuse, with hopes that others will approach their respective departments.
Alison Hicks asked Shedenhelm if her lists on Library à la Carte are available by RSS. Shedenhelm replied that it is available through the UGA Libraries website and is freely available. It takes her about 20 minutes each month to create the lists. Meagan Lacy asked if Shedenhelm manually compiles the lists or generates them through an automated process. Shedenhelm replied that she types the lists.
Margarita Vannini (Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica) asked Palaima to elaborate on the institutional relationships involved in digitizing the AHPN collection. Palaima replied that the AHPN was a very large project with lots of people working on it. The archive is approximately 80 million pages. Agreements signed with the AHPN require open access. Digitization was done on-site in Guatemala. UT sent hard drives which were returned full. The first batch was 11,000 documents which were sent to the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) to be processed into TIFF files and derivatives. The site launched in December has sparse metadata but is open access. It is structured much the same as the physical archive, with documents organized by provenance and original order. Researchers can browse the digital archive by year, much as they would do with boxes of documents. There is currently no metadata for names and places. UT is expecting another 10 million documents and is working with the TACC to extract metadata the document images. This is challenging because of different handwriting, formats, and other variables throughout the collection. It has been a major collaboration over a long period of time. As soon as the website went live it received heavy traffic.
Rafael E. Tarragó (University of Minnesota) asked Palaima if Primeros Libros is limited to New Spain or if it includes all of Latin America. Early publishing also took place in Peru. Palaima replied that choices were made at the beginning of the project to limit the initial collection to Mexico. They hope to expand the collection geographically in the future.
Hicks asked Wenzel if Chicago’s PDA program included print or just e-books. Wenzel responded that it is currently just e-books. One factor in that decision is the speed of delivery and that it is currently faster to deliver materials through interlibrary loan or unmediated consortial borrowing. It is unclear if PDA for print would be an improvement in service.
Alvarez asked Wenzel if PDA records are loaded after a title-by-title selection or if they are loaded in a large batch of PDA records. Wenzel replied that PDA titles are loaded by batch based on the refined slips profile she has set partly based on subject headings. For example, she does not purchase language learning or ESL materials so those records are excluded from any PDA batch load.
Tagged with: Alison Hicks • Anne Barnhart • audiovisual • Barbara Alvarez • Carolyn Palaima • cataloging • digitization • film • Laura D. Shedenhelm • Lisa Gardinier • Margarita Vannini • Meagan Lacy • Miguel Valladares-Llata • music • PDA • Rafael E. Tarragó • rapporteur reports • RDA • Samuel Wicks • Sarah G. Wenzel • Tina Gross
Panel 14, June 18, 2012, 1:30 pm-3:30 pm
Moderator: Angela M. Carreño (New York University)
Presenters: Barbara Chase (The University of the West Indies, Barbados); Valerie Clarke (The University of the West Indies, Barbados) presented by Elizabeth Watson, Campus Librarian; Ann Marie White and Jessica Lewis (The University of the West Indies, Barbados); Rapporteur: Jeffrey Staiger (University of Oregon)
Angela Carreño welcomed everyone and introduced the speakers.
First to give her presentation, “Representations of Love and Erotica in Caribbean Writings,” was Barbara Chase, Head of Book Acquisitions at the University of West Indies, Barbados, who focused on the example of Barbadian novelists. Chase proposed that it was a sign of these writers’ growing confidence that they had begun to lay claim to genre fiction, which she characterized as popular fiction written for mainstream consumption, with a less complex style, and fewer metaphors and similes, than its literary counterpart. Focusing particularly on the genres of romance and erotica, she enumerated a number of representative works: The Healing Tree by Margaret Knight; Song of Night and Fire in the Canes by Glenville Lovell; A Death in Panama by Robert Williams; Joy Cometh in the Morning by Herbert Reifer; Someone to Watch Over Me by Nailah Folami Imoja; and One Gentle Night by Ben Jordan. While these novels resemble the works of genre fiction from other nations – the speaker cited the precedent of Barbara Cartland – she stressed that these authors included elements that lent the novels in question a Caribbean flavor, such as the use of the plantation as setting, the theme of race, and the issue of beach and tourism culture. One of the distinctive features of genre feature, she stressed at the end of her talk, was that, unlike literary fiction, it always ended with a resolution of the plot.
The second presentation, “Echoes of the Caribbean: Documentation of Tradition and Identity in the Audio Visual Collection” was presented by Elizabeth Watson, Campus Librarian at the University of the West Indies, Barbados on behalf of Valerie Clarke. She related that the Learning Resource Center in her library harbored, in addition to a digital postcard collection documenting Caribbean life and culture, about 1,500 artifacts, realia, segments of oral history, and other items covering such regional topics as sports, women, and calypso music. Observing that audiovisual materials capture nuances of the historical record unavailable in text, and that they facilitate different kinds of learning about the region’s culture, the presenter particularly focused on the themes of women at work and political expression as represented in the collection. Addressing women’s roles in Caribbean culture, the speaker noted that 60% of Barbadian women are involved in the fishing industry. She played an audio clip consisting of women’s cries advertising their various fish as they competed for business in the market place. The speaker went on to observe that music was at the core of the enslaved society, and that the drum in particular was used to send messages in the period before emancipation. She played recent audio clips to illustrate how singers used calypso songs to make political points indirectly, noting that in Barbados, songs have been banned because they expressed political views contrary to powerful interests, but that some candidates have also used Calypso for campaigning purposes. In conclusion, the speaker noted that the audiovisual collections add diversity and depth to static print collections.
The final presentation, “Art, Space and the Caribbean Academic Library,” was given jointly by Jessica Lewis and Ann Marie White from the University of the West Indies, Barbados. They discussed the use of fine art in the library on the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies. The present building, expanded in 1996 and again in 2012, currently holds approximately 70 pieces of fine art, pieces selected both to create a welcoming ambiance in the library and to foster culture awareness. The selections of art pieces were made according to a variety of factors, including theme, proposed placement, medium, size, artistic execution, and relevance to the Caribbean experience. They showed slides representing various examples of the pieces in the collection; some of these reflected the African heritage of the Caribbean people, others, such as a triptych painting by Cathrine Chee-A-Tow of brightly garbed men, illustrated, in the speaker’s words, “the bright atmosphere of the Caribbean.” They noted that fine art can also be used to highlight special collections. The response of library patrons to the integration of fine art into the space of the building has been quite positive. Summing up, the speakers maintained that the investment in fine art in the library was valuable for a number of reasons: it casts the library as a custodian of local culture; it supports the university’s creative arts program; it assists the development of the wider arts community and “last but not least, fine art, unlike other assets, appreciates in value.”
p dir=”ltr”>Panel 7, June 1, 2011, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Moderator: Lynn Shirey, Harvard University
Presenter: Alexandra Halkin. Americas Media Initiative
Rapporteur: John B. Wright, Brigham Young University
Alexandra Halkin is a documentary filmmaker and founding director of the Americas Media Initiative-Cuba Media Project, a new initiative to distribute Cuban independent and community videos in the US.
Halkin indicated that university librarians have helped get a lot of these films distributed and then noted having directed Living Juarez. Halkin discussed the real resistance to President Felipe Calderón’s policies on the war on drugs. She then explained having had no production money, just money for research. This is an advocacy film. Halkin noted that she would like to work in Juárez to create a feature film, but that is not possible because of security issues in protecting the film crew and the characters (the groups of youth).
Living Juarez looks at the events and aftermath of events in the Juárez neighborhood of Villas de Salvárcar where in January 2010, a group of youth attending a birthday party were brutally murdered. Calderón characterized the youth as gang members. The outraged families personally confronted Calderón at public forums in Juárez during his visits to the city after the massacre.
Living Juarez tells the story of the real victims in Calderón’s Drug War: regular people just trying to survive in a city overrun by senseless violence and corruption. The neighborhood of Villas de Salvárcar is organized and speaking out against the arbitrary and frequent abuses that are committed by the armed forces against civilians and particularly the youth in Juárez.
Questions & Comments:
Anne Barnhart (University of West Georgia) asked “How do you produce films?” Halkin replied “Filmmakers get 60% and we get 40%.”
Martha Mantilla (University of Pittsburgh) asked “What about the safety of the people who appear in the documentaries? Will they be at risk?” Halkin responded, “I don’t produce any video of someone who can be at risk.”
Halkin next presented two episodes of TV Serrana that was founded with funding from UNESCO, the Cuban government, and the National Association of Small Farmers. These episodes cannot be sold via the Internet. TV Serrana is a television project that has helped rural Cubans in the Sierra Maestra Mountains produce nearly 500 documentaries since 1993. The idea is to show people a vision of Cuba that they’ve never seen before.
We watched an episode called “The Four Sisters.” It was made in 1997 and lasts 15 minutes. It tells the story of four elderly Cuban sisters who are still living in the home of their parents. Each sister plays a role in maintaining the home and the livelihood of each. They take care of one another.
The next episode was called “¿Adónde vamos?” It was made in 2009 and lasts 20 minutes. It is very controversial. TV Serrana is able to present a critique of Cuba in Cuba. The director of this episode grew up with TV Serrana. She is now its famous director. It tells the story of farmers who grow loads and loads of fruit. They pick it, bag it, and prepare it for shipment. The bags of fruit sit by the side of the road, ferment, and rot waiting for government transportation to pick them up for distribution. The farmers are feeling quite cynical, wondering what is to be done.
Questions & Comments:
Barnhart asked “How has this evolved?” Halkin answered, “UNESCO started the series and it is now quite a good model for what is happening with good television programming in Cuba.”
John B. Wright (Brigham Young University) asked, “Has the exposure of some of these problems in Cuba helped anything change?” Halkin replied, “TV Serrana has been an advocate for communities to government officials. Transportation to market of food produced in the country is still a very big problem, but at least the people feel they have been able to communicate some of their grievances to the government.
Laura D. Shedenhelm (University of Georgia) asked, “Looking at your list of products, I see prices. How do you do invoices? We don’t do purchase orders.” Halkin replied “Most items are prepaid.”
Panel 6, May 31, 2011, 9:00 am-10:30 am
Moderator: Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez, Princeton University
Presenters: Corina Norro, Archivo Nacional de la Memoria de Argentina; Margarita Vannini, Universidad Centroamericana; Graciela G. Barcala de Moyano, Academia Nacional de la Historia; Daniela Fuentealba, Museo de la Memoria; María Luisa Ortiz, Museo de la Memoria
Rapporteur: Tracy North, Library of Congress
Corina Norro began her presentation “Los Archivos Audiovisuales: Aportes para la Memoria en Construcción” by lamenting that there is not enough money or political will in Argentina right now to preserve cultural heritage. However, she enthusiastically reported that the Archivo Nacional de la Memoria is attempting to preserve audiovisual materials. She explained that the Archives are for citizens. They are important so that no one will forget. All of history is written; this audiovisual documentation is equally as important for history.
In 2007, Argentina created the Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos with the idea of capturing the memories of the victims and perpetrators of the atrocities. The goal is to collect the many stories and experiences of all of those involved in the Dirty War. Corina made the important point that there is not just one story, but rather a diverse group of experiences. The Archive is attempting to collect stories in all formats: images, videos, oral history, etc., in order to trace the trajectory of culture throughout the Dirty War. They are collecting movies, music, radio and television broadcasts so that scholars and citizens can dissect the recordings to analyze censorship or other influences of media production during the time period. For example, they are trying to recover broadcast recordings from the 1978 World Cup which they suggest covered up the truth about what was really happening in Argentina in the midst of the Dirty War.
Margarita Vannini followed with her presentation “Memoria e Imagen: Los Archivos Audiovisuales del Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica de la UCA.” According to Vannini, the Instituto de Historia has a collection of photographs to promote and disseminate information. Vannini talked about the notion of circulating information through books, journals, and photographs as a way to broadcast the cultural patrimony of the country. The goal is to share the experience with future generations. Vannini explained that Nicaragua has experienced a tumultuous political history for the past 50 years (e.g., Somoza, Revolution, Sandinista, neoliberalism, Post-Sandinismo, etc.). She explained that small museums have taken on the task of attempting to preserve the memory of the nation. In working for a more just society, they are collecting and saving images of murals in public places (e.g., plazas and other central locations). They are also trying to capture music from the different periods of their recent political turmoil.
Vannini noted the ending of a decade of the Nicaraguan Civil War and the election of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro to the presidency in 1990. She ran her campaign and took office with a peace and reconciliation platform. The Instituto de Historia is not attempting to erase the memory of the Sandinistas and the revolution; rather, the goal is to preserve the memory and cultural history of the nation: to recover the thousands of burned books; to remember the changed names of the schools, etc.
Graciela Barcala de Moyano next followed with her presentation “Clasificación Temática de Archivos Orales Sobre Derechos Humanos: Aportes para una Metodología.” Barcala de Moyano began by noting that the archivists and librarians who are cataloging the memory of the nation are working today for future generations, 20-25 years from now. They want to simplify the recovery of memory and the cataloging and preservation of oral testimony and audiovisual resources. They are seeking to develop common terms through a linguistic examination of the resources. Barcala de Moyano made the point that we use words today to describe past events but these words are different from the words that were used during the actual time period being described. She explained that the cataloging process must be objective. She discussed the unique challenge of cataloging oral history. For example, there is not a unique title for each testimony. The people who are speaking out and telling their stories are not well-known; rather, they are family members of the disappeared, so chances are there are not established authority headings for their names. With the cataloging rules constantly changing, the goal is to standardize the thesaurus so that common terms are applied across collections for future searching and access to the collections.
In their joint presentation, “Difusión y Acceso Público del Patrimonio del Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos Mediante su Centro de Documentación”, Daniela Fuentealba and María Luisa Ortiz discussed the importance of the Chilean exile experience of 1973-1989, and described the urgent need to collect, organize, store, and provide access to the vast array of resources created by Chilean exiles which are dispersed throughout the world in many formats (mostly music, some fine arts, graphic design, and photography), languages, and themes. Most of these materials are held by the exiles themselves, whether they live in Chile or in the country of asylum. The findings indicate that there was no systematic attempt to identify, collect and provide access to resources about the Chilean exile experience.
The artistic output of Chilean exiles covered many different avenues. For example, there was an abundance of literature – poetry, fiction, and non-fiction – being produced by Chileans abroad. Film and theater production have also proliferated among Chilean exiles. The films served as an educational post-dictatorship tool to show young Chileans what life was like during the Pinochet dictatorship. In addition to the primary sources (for which more research is needed to bring together and catalog all of the rich production), some valuable secondary sources also attempt to investigate and explain the massive Chilean exodus during the dictatorship and its role in shaping the history of the nation. Ultimately, there is an urgent need to attempt to identify, collect, and make available the production of Chilean exiles in all formats, languages, and themes in order to create a more comprehensive view of Chilean history during the dictatorship (1973-1989), and the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos is the ideal venue to collaborate in undertaking this significant activity.
Panel 1, May 30, 2011, 11:00 am-12:55 pm
Moderator: Paloma Celis Carbajal, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Presenters: Gregory Berger, Grigoyo Productions; Shamina de Gonzaga, What moves you?; Carlos Gutiérrez, Cinema Tropical; Alexandra Halkin, Chiapas Media Project; Christopher Moore, Sol Productions
Rapporteur: Daisy V. Domínguez, The City College of New York
Paloma Celis Carbajal began by noting that she met several of the panelists at LASA and suggested they come to SALALM to promote their material to libraries and that she was very pleased they accepted her invitation to participate on this panel. Carbajal noted that Gregory Berger of Grigoyo Productions could not attend.
Christopher Moore, Director of Sol Productions, began his talk, “Film as Source Material and Teaching Tool: Sol Productions and Moving Pictures o Los Autos de Caracas,” by saying that his goal on the panel was twofold. First, he wanted to consider theoretical approaches to memory in the documentary film genre and second, to find ways to work with librarians to preserve and provide access to these films. He co-founded Sol Productions in 2006 with the idea that the company’s films would not be the final word but would provoke more discussion about different topics. In 2007, Sol Productions produced three documentary films (in Venezuela, Senegal and France). Since their company did not have a public relations firm working with them, they traveled to over 90 schools to promote their films, but Moore notes that would not be possible this year due to the economic situation. Moore said he was excited to be at the conference in order to get ideas about how to promote their films even in difficult economic times and how to make them available in libraries throughout the world. Adding material online is one way around this but he wondered about the financial viability of it. Moore said that film is a very serious analytic tool as both a compliment to written works but also in its own right. Moore ended by showing the trailer for the Hugo Chavez documentary, “Puedo Hablar May I speak?”
Next, Alexandra Halkin, founding director of Chiapas Media Project and the Americas Media Initiative, presented “Collaborative Documentation and Advocacy.” They have been working with the Zapatistas since 1998. Due to the militarization of Chiapas, the last Zapatista video was produced in 2006. The war on drugs has filtered throughout southern Mexico and has affected their ability to produce for external distribution, though not for internal distribution. A lot of their archival material is being lost (covered in fungus in many cases) due to lack of climate control and the fact that a lot of material is still videotaped. While Halkin and her colleagues know what is needed to preserve this film, there is no funding for it and the situation has not changed. There are copies of the films in Mexico and the United States. Distribution to universities in the U.S. is critical and has sustained their work but due to the economic downturn, it has become difficult to obtain funding for travel and honoraria. The Cuban media project does not have distribution outside of Cuba and there are problems with the English subtitles in these Cuban documentaries. The work of TV Serrana, which was founded by UNESCO in 1993 and has 490 documentaries, is of excellent quality and subject matter. With funding from the Ford Foundation, they were able to add English subtitles to 20 of their documentaries. Librarians’ work is very important. Money from the sale of videos goes back to Chiapas and Cuban communities. Halkin noted that they have tried to develop a symbiotic relationship between universities and marginalized filmmakers in Mexico and Cuba and this allows them to produce more films. Halkin ended by showing a trailer from the TV Serrana Tour.
Carlos Gutiérrez of Cinema Tropical began his presentation, entitled “New Partnerships in Latin American Outreach Through Film: The Cinema Tropical Case,” by noting that Cinema Tropical is a New York City based media arts organization which promotes Latin American cinema in the United States through regional programming. Noting that the economic crisis affecting the film world is affecting all of us, Cinema Tropical is interested in collaboration with the academic library world.
Gutiérrez then moved on to describe the recent explosion of independently produced film in countries like Argentina. In the mid-1990s, Argentina produced a new generation of filmmakers that produced feature and documentary films without government funding as had been done in the past. Then this explosion of film moved to Uruguay, which hadn’t produced a film in years, and more recently, Central America. However, it is difficult to get access to material from Central America.
When Gutiérrez moved to New York from Mexico City in 1997, there was not much Latin American cinema on American screens. The so-called “Three Amigos” brought attention to what was happening in Latin American cinema. Cinema Tropical began by having weekly screenings over the course of one year which led to interest by other theaters. So, they created a network in NYC and then in the country and have screened thirteen films across the U.S., which has become part of their circuit of films. They then started doing theatrical releases, which are the main aspect of releases which guarantee reviews. The now defunct LAVA (Latin American Video Archives) was a key organization in bringing videosl from Latin America over to the U.S. and Cinema Tropical has not really found new ways of doing this.
A major issue is that there is very little knowledge on how to contextualize Latin American film and therefore, to have critical debates. He mentioned, for example, that the New York Times reviewer of “Amores Perros”directed by González Iñáritu loved the film but thought that there had not been any art house films from Mexico since Buñuel. He noted that this is one way that universities can do outreach. Cinema Tropical partnered with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU and combined screenings with discussion. Cinema Tropical also took screenings to the Arab world and more recently has partnered with the organization called What moves you? They recently started selling DVDs to universities. Cinema Tropical also created a list of the best ten Latin American films (which also mentions 130 films) of the past decade which led to a publication. Cinema Tropical will also publish a book on Lucrecia Martel, the director of “La Ciénaga,” who Gutiérrez recommends highly. He ended by promoting the screening of “Nostalgia por la Luz” (which screened the next day at the conference).
Shamina de Gonzaga’s presentation was entitled “Film as a Springboard for Dialogue on Immigration and Related Issues.” De Gonzaga started by noting the collaboration between Cinema Tropical (which served as the film distributor), NYU (which served as the academic hub), and her organization, What moves you? (which produces awareness campaigns) on the Indocumentales film series, which seeks to show the subtleties surrounding the issue of immigration. These events are also a way to disseminate resource packets and educational materials so that the film is “not accepted as gospel” but extends the conversation. De Gonzaga noted that it is not the same to see a five minute news report about a tragic incident as watching a 90 minute in-depth documentary. She gave an overview of the five films that were screened. The first film is “Al Otro Lado” which deals with drug trafficking and the popular musical genre known as narcocorridos. Another film is “Farmingville” which follows the aftermath of the killing of day laborers. De Gonzaga noted that the strong reaction among audience members to this film in particular validates the importance of having these screenings. “Los Que Se Quedan” deals with the impact of immigration on those who stay behind. “The Sixth Section” is a short which deals with people in upstate New York which sends money back to Mexico to build a baseball stadium. “Which Way Home” deals with mostly very young Central American children who attempt to come to the U.S. by freight trains and many times do not make it. “Mi Vida Adentro” is about an undocumented woman who is accused of killing a child in her care. De Gonzaga notes that during the screenings they may have lawyers who are more qualified to answer certain questions as well as community members because it is important not to be in silos. De Gonzaga ended by showing a clip of “Al Otro Lado,” which screened later that afternoon.
Questions and Comments:
Paloma Celis Carbajal commented on films as a catalyst to dialogue so that people will be receptive to certain issues. The Indocumentales series went to Wisconsin and it was tied to an exhibit on 200 years of immigration between US and Mexico. Celis Carbajal thought of this topic because she wanted something that was of interest not just to Mexicans. This was the first time she got e-mails from the community requesting material from the exhibit, not just from faculty and students. So, this springboard from the film series worked.
Jesus Alonso-Regalado (SUNY Albany) asked whether the distributors were considering selling streaming videos. Gutiérrez said that this was not available yet but acknowledged that this is the trend. Moore said that “Democracy in Dakar” is sold digitally via iTunes but there is no distinction between individual and institutional purchases. They are behind on the process but open to it.
Daisy Domínguez (City College of New York) asked whether any collaborations had come about as a result of the dialogues at the screenings. De Gonzaga said that the resource packet helped and that it happens all the time. Halkin noted that a number of U.S. students have come down as interns to Chiapas and later, professional relationships have developed. Professors have toured TV Serrana and Halkin will be taking some of them to a national film festival in Cuba. She notes that the screenings open up the possibility for collaborations on different levels. Even individual communications like e-mails are a stepping stone toward bigger things. Moore noted that some students who are not at film schools have been motivated to pursue filmmaking and have even gone on to having their films screened at places like the Tribeca Film Festival.
Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University) asked whether Halkin had a sense of the scope of the archive and the cost of preservation of the Chiapas Media Project. Halkin said that the tapes are dispersed but that there were about 1,000 hours worth of recordings, including raw footage, on mini DV cassette and some on super VHS.
Martha Mantilla (University of Pittsburgh) asked whether there were any packages for institutions who want to invite these organizations to do presentations at universities. Gutiérrez noted that Cinema Tropical acts as intermediaries between libraries and filmmakers and mentioned packages like “Latin American Left” and “Music and Film Series.” He highlighted Brazilian filmmakers who have made a lot of films on many singers which also delve into issues of race, politics, and class but which are not distributed in the U.S.
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