The Audio-Visual Africa project rests upon the assumption that a comparative analysis of African audio-visual materials will result in the most nuanced understanding of cultural heritage and social memory in Africa. Our team is collecting and providing access to three distinct assemblages of audio-visual content:
- videotapes and photographs from Ghana’s Manyhia Palace
- cinematographic images from African female documentary filmmakers, and
- audio field recordings from Leo Sarkisian’s Voice of America archive
Each of these collections occupies its own stage in the archiving/access/preservation continuum. The female filmmakers collection does not yet exist as a tangible entity–Frieda Ekotto will be collecting and archiving the material herself. The Manhyia Palace collection requires cataloging and reorganization. The Leo Sarkisian archive, meanwhile, awaits digitization following years of collecting and organizing.
Though a large percentage of the materials in these three collections originates from Western Africa, we are committed to expanding the breadth and scope of our collections to better highlight the diversity of material that Africa has to offer.