Editorial by Mathieu Gallet,
Chairman and CEO of Ina
Chairman of Copeam
The Mediterranean has a living memory of peoples and cultures. It is this centuries-old heritage which Med-Mem is aiming to extend today, through the richly expressive means of the audiovisual media.
Fostering dialogue, understanding other people’s culture, strengthening awareness of a common history: these objectives are at the heart of Med-Mem. To achieve these aims, its conception had to be underpinned by discussion and interchange. This brings out the importance of the active role played by each one of our twenty partners, in a process of international cooperation which was essential to bring about a project which is truly Mediterranean.
The result of this exemplary initiative will be available for everyone to see from 12 October: no fewer than 4000 audiovisual archive items will be available online free of charge, on a trilingual website, enabling a broad range of views of the heritage of the whole Mediterranean area.
Far more than just a shop window or a mere video catalogue, Med-Mem boasts an enriched interface and a high degree of editorial content, offering a multitude of entrance pathways. The large number of insights available means that each individual will be able to establish a personal pathway through the riches of Mediterranean culture and history.
Piloted by INA in the multilateral framework of COPEAM, this vast endeavour could not have been successfully carried out without the support provided by the Euromed Heritage IV programme, funded by the European Union. All those who have played a part deserve our gratitude for their contribution.
Chairman and CEO of INA
President of COPEAM
Editorial by Eneko Landaburu,
Head of the European Union delegation in Rabat
Just a click away
The archives of 14 Mediterranean television corporations will be at our fingertips from 12 October 2012 at www.medmem.eu, thanks to the Med-Mem project, co-funded by the European Union as part of the Euromed Heritage 4 programme
Just click and you can watch the poet Mahmoud Darwich making his final appearance on television in 2008. Another click reveals footage of the building of the Suez Canal...
On 12 October 2012 Med-Mem becomes a reality. It is the first-ever free website in three languages (French, English and Arabic) to focus on the audiovisual heritage of the Mediterranean. Med-Mem – or “Sharing our Mediterranean audiovisual heritage” – presents the archives of 14 Mediterranean television corporations, with some 4000 audiovisual items available to the general public free of charge: it thus becomes the largest online video archive library dedicated to the historic and cultural heritage of the Mediterranean area.
The Med-Mem project is co-funded by the European Union as part of the Euromed Heritage 4 programme.
Why has the Euromed Heritage programme been set up? As a regional programme, it makes it possible for Mediterranean countries that are partners of the EU - Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria and Tunisia – to work together. As a cultural heritage programme, it provides a framework enabling international institutions, national and local authorities, civil society entities, professionals in the heritage and education sectors, along with the region’s peoples and young generation, to work together in developing an environment which is more favourable for the heritage both at national and regional level: rediscovering and sharing traditions, while keeping a close eye on the present, exchanging experience, and disseminating best practices, in order to pave the way for sustainable human and economic development in the region.
Med-Mem forms part of this endeavour, and contributes to achieving the programme’s objectives: to improve accessibility to, and knowledge of, cultural heritage; to improve socio-economic impact at local and regional level; and to reinforce cultural heritage institutions and legislation. The project has thus made a major contribution to improving knowledge and practices in the Mediterranean audiovisual heritage field, with the collection, indexing and analysis of this new video archive data base, and also via the drawing up of the associated practical and legislative manuals, and above all the raising of levels of equipment and professional training in the partner TV archive departments in the Mediterranean area. Furthermore, the project is a useful complement to the many achievements of the Euromed Audiovisual programme in the film sector, which is also funded by the European Union and has been extremely active in the archives field.
Both the Euromed Heritage and the Euromed Audiovisual programmes strive to play an active part in the economic and social development of the partner countries. With this aim in mind, three fields of action have been identified and targeted by the two programmes. Above all, they drive efforts to train and develop the skills of all those involved, managers and technicians, and heritage and audiovisual professionals. At the same time, they have developed a wide range of tools and publications in order to improve legislation, knowledge, teaching and practices in their respective fields. Finally, a substantial effort has been made to raise awareness amongst different sections of the population (children, young people, students, women, associations, generalist professions, etc.), so as to make them conscious of heritage and audiovisual issues, and the benefits drawn from best practices in these areas, which tend to spread and have an impact at all levels: societal, economic and cultural.
The Med-Mem site is a perfect example of this awareness-raising effort, for it enables researchers, students, cultural institutions and the holders of audiovisual content to discover and appropriate a Mediterranean audiovisual heritage. Already, a network of cultural institutions (museums, libraries and universities) has been set up to offer website consultation points for the general public.
The project, which brings together 14 television corporations from the Mediterranean area, 3 professional organisations and a number of high-profile cultural and scientific partners, has also mobilised the efforts of more than 40 teachers and researchers specialising in the Mediterranean area, who have analysed and compared some of the 4000 archive videos collected to produce thematic research dossiers, which are provided on the platform alongside the video footage.
Med-Mem is thus fully committed to its goal of encouraging intercultural dialogue and an understanding of shared history in the Mediterranean.
Finally, it is very gratifying to see the innovative business model that the project has collectively constructed, which should ensure the continuing existence and evolution of the platform in a long-term perspective. In addition to the advertising revenue and the capital made available, the financing plan – shared by all the partners – optimises the “showcase” effect and the visibility of the archives presented, with a fixed percentage charge on revenues for videos ordered and purchased from TV corporations via the Med-Mem site.
To see all this for yourself, I invite you to visit the www.medmem.eu website on 12 October.
Head of the E.U. delegation in Rabat
Editorial by Rachid Arhab,
Speaking as someone whose memories have been passed on essentially through oral traditions, I am delighted that, from now on, the younger generations of the future will have at their disposal a new tool to give them direct access to the Mediterranean audiovisual heritage.
This new resource for students, teachers and audiovisual professionals brings together for the first time 4000 archive items from 14 Mediterranean television corporations, and thus opens up a new pathway, very shortly to be enriched by other documents which might otherwise have disappeared for ever.
Med-Mem is a digital bridge between the shores of a “sea of civilisation”, and a guarantee that our common history will be engraved on the hard disk of our memory.