There are a number of recently-announced conferences or workshops coming up in 2009 which are worth checking out:

SOIMA 2009: Safeguarding Sound and Image Collections
November 17 – December 11, 2009
New Delhi, India

This 4-week course will provide an overview of issues related to the preservation and access of sound and image materials e.g., photographs, films, video and audiotapes, and digital materials. It will discuss the value, meaning, selection and use of sound and image collections in various institutional contexts, exploring the potential of sound and image media in transmitting knowledge and cultural traditions. Initial sessions will especially focus on identification of various formats including the playback equipment, life expectancy of media and ways of detecting deterioration. Additional course topics will include: current knowledge and practices for documenting and cataloguing, media handling and storage, risk assessment of collections, emergency preparedness and response, criteria and technologies for migration and reformatting, planning preservation projects, outsourcing options, digital preservation and management. Other issues such as curating and access, copyright laws, legal deposit, and institutional and national preservation policies will be discussed in context with participants’ working realities. Adaptation to technological changes and related cost-effective preservation strategies will form a key component of the course.

For more information, and to submit an application:

Open Video Conference
June 19-20, 2009
New York, NYU Law School

The conference will feature talks from internet luminaries, panels and discussions, screenings of video art, and demonstrations of the newest internet video technology. We expect more than 400 participants.
Here are some goals for the gathering:

1. Bring together stakeholders in the online video space for cross-pollination and development of the Open Video movement.
2. Raise public interest and awareness around the Principles for an Open Video Ecosystem, a community effort to define best practices in online video.
3. Raise the public profile of video creators and artists working in the online space

Remembering War, Genocide and Other Human Rights Violations: Oral History, New Media and the Arts
November 5 – 8, 2009
Montréal, Québec, Canada
The Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling & the Montreal Life Stories Project Concordia University

It has frequently been said that we live in an “age of testimony.” Eye-witness accounts from survivors of war, genocide and other human rights violations fill our airwaves and our bookshelves. Large Holocaust testimony projects such as Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation have recorded tens of thousands of survivors. Thousands more have told their horrific stories to truth and reconciliation commissions and international tribunals in a growing number of countries including Canada.

Oral history, we believe, has a pivotal role to play in educating ourselves and our communities about the social preconditions, experiences and long-term repercussions of war, genocide and other human rights abuses (broadly defined). What do people remember and why? How have we approached the interview? Digital technologies and the arts have likewise opened up new possibilities for community engagement and research. In what ways have we incorporated the life stories of survivors in art, documentary media and practice, performance, museum exhibition, classroom pedagogy, and other digital environments? When is oral history and storytelling a catalyst for collective dialogue and political action? Digital technologies and the arts have opened up exciting new possibilities for community engagement and research. How do we share the stories that we record?

We invite proposals in English and French from a wide range of community-based projects, university researchers, artists and educators, whose work is publicly engaged and intellectually consequential. Please indicate if you are proposing an individual presentation or panel session, one hour workshop, short performance, film screening/discussion, or booth/display. We are hoping to avoid concurrent sessions if possible. You are asked to submit a 250 word proposal, curriculum vitae, and a short biographical statement (to be placed on the web site if your proposal is accepted) by Monday April 13, 2009. Please send your proposals to Steven High, Canada Research Chair in Public History, at

The conference is co-sponsored by the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University ( ) and the Life Stories of Montrealers displaced by War and Genocide project ( ), an ambitious five year Community University Research Alliance that is comprised of 40 researchers and 18 community partners from the city’s Rwandan, Cambodian, Jewish and Haitian communities as well as arts, education and human rights organizations. A publication, perhaps an anthology, is expected to result.

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