Panel 11

The digitazation of amateur film archives and the making of corporate-based collective memories

Organizers: Federico Pilati; Ilaria Ferretti

IULM, Italy

Topics: Heritage industry and the production of collective memory; Extractivist powers, imaginaries and asymmetries

Keywords: Amateur archives; Corportate firms; Collective Memory;

Amateur film archives are spread around Europe at local, regional and national level with the aim to preserve and harness the non-professional, family, corporate and independent film, a still hidden and inaccessible huge European audiovisual cultural heritage. By the term 'amateur film' we mean images in movement that have association with any aspect of our daily life in society. These include family films, but also documentaries and fiction films, works of experimental and independent filmmakers, scientific films, corporate film and other materials. These artefacts document evidence of the past, in most cases the everyday life of people who visually recorded their holidays, trips, collective rituals, public events, work, landscape. The audiovisual documentation from the archives’ collections is therefore an enormous and extraordinary portrait of European history, heritage, memory, identity and cultural interaction. Since the early ‘90s some of the major Italian corporates started a reflection on their own identity articulated through the possible use of corporate archives. Commonly these collections are characterized by a multimedia and multidimensional structure (e.g., artifact products, advertisements, documents, personal folders, etc.) that can be adopted to investigate new meanings and perspectives concerning corporate values and communication. Thanks to the digital era the access and hence dissemination of corporate archives has become a real opportunity. However, due to the cost required for the digitalization, audiovisual heritage has remained often in the background. Considering the amount of opportunities connected this heritage, this panel would like to analyze the peculiarities connected to this materials and it will focus specifically on “unofficial” corporate audiovisual archives. The gaze of workers or owners, unpublished and private images that document life, private moments and the workers communities, images hidden for years in attics and drawers that can gave us a glimpse of the company’s history, but at the same time, can show how big corporate and industries appropriate the meaning and making of a bottom-up collective memory.