INA acquired archive of post-genocide Rwanda footage


France’s Institut National de l’Audiovisuel acquired archive of post-genocide Rwanda footage from award-winning documentarian Anne Aghion.

The Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA)—the organization charged with preserving and providing access to France’s audiovisual history—has acquired a unique collection of footage shot between 2001 and 2009 by French-American documentarian Anne Aghion, during the production of her series of award- winning TV and feature films on post-genocide Rwanda. As part of the agreement, INA will provide a full copy of the footage to Aghion, for presentation to Iriba Center for Multimedia Heritage, an archival institution in Rwanda co-founded by the filmmaker.

INA will digitize and enhance the archive and provide global access to some 550 tapes, making up 350 hours of footage. The material was shot primarily in a single rural village, as the Rwandan government put in place the ―Gacaca, a system of community-based tribunals established to judge crimes dating to the 1994 genocide, which claimed 800,000 lives over the course of three months.

The archive is available here

Aghion’s footage is a unique documentation both of Rwandan history, and of a population in the throes of nearly a decade of social reconstruction. About one half of the collection comprises open-air trials, with the rest made up of one-on-one interviews of survivors, defendants and witnesses. Filmed outdoors, as well as in locations including a school and local lock-up, this material shows, for the first time, the long- term process of re-weaving a community’s social fabric after a cataclysm on the scale of the Rwandan genocide.

The footage is mainly in the Kinyarwanda language, as well as in English and French. The materials are fully translated into English, indexed to time codes every 10 to 15 seconds at most.

The agreement with Aghion is part of INA’s policy to expand its collection, and to engage in international cooperation for the preservation of audiovisual heritage. According to Michel Raynal, Deputy Director, Heritage Collections, ―These recordings, compiled with persistence, and made completely outside of the context of breaking news, contribute to the development of common memory. It is precisely within INA’s mission to collect, safeguard and provide access to this memory for new purposes, be they professional or scientific. Taking on this archive was an obvious decision.

Aghion is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including a 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2008, she released her feature film, ―Ice People,‖ co-produced by Arte and the Sundance Channel, which explores the personal and emotional challenges of scientists in the extreme environment of Antarctica.

ABOUT INA: INA, founded in 1974, gathers and preserves the images and sounds, which form the basis of our collective memory. It authenticates them, gives them meaning, and shares them as widely as possible through its collections and its expertise. The world's number one audiovisual centre for digital archiving and archive enhancement, INA has become the watchword for technical innovation in both these fields. Otherwise, since 2006, Ina is diversifying the means of transmission of its contents to the public: site, mobile, Connected TV, Video on Demand (VoD)... learn more:

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