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J.H. Kwabena Nketia Attends IASA Conference in Ghana

Tuesday, October 30, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephen Stuempfle
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J.H. Kwabena Nketia Attends IASA Conference in Ghana
By Judith Gray, SEM 1st Vice President

The 49th conference of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) took place on October 1-4, 2018, in Accra, Ghana. The host organization was the Institute for African Studies at the University of Ghana, home to the J. H. Kwabena Nketia Archives. Those of us who attended and knew Professor Nketia’s work were honored to see him at the opening ceremony (see photo of Professor Nketia with Louise Spear). Now in his 90s, he remains actively interested in the work of preserving documentary materials such as his seminal recordings. The archives are also the site of audiovisual-preservation training activities: https://www.facebook.com/iasarchive/.

“Access and Accessibility” was the theme for the conference that included participants from 29 countries, who were treated throughout to West African drumming, jazz, and dance performances. This was also the occasion on which Janet Topp Fargion of the British Library was able to give the Institute digitized copies of the Robert Sutherland Rattray wax cylinder recordings, made in Ghana in 1921-22 during his tenure there as District Governor for the Ejura region of Ashanti.

SEM members who were present included Louise Spear, Janet Topp Fargion, Diane Thram, Daniel Avorgbedor, and Judith Gray. Aaron Bittel, archivist and librarian for the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive, is chair of the IASA Research Archives Section, established initially by Tony Seeger and Shubha Chaudhuri.

The IASA community invites everyone who has worked in, contributed to, or has interests in audiovisual archiving to note the recent annual celebration (October 27) of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage: https://www.ccaaa.org/WDAVH2018.

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