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A ‘Living Museum’ for Greek Community from the Archdiocese of Australia

SYNDEY – The 27th of October has been chosen by UNESCO to commemorate The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage in recognition of the importance of audiovisual material as a source of information about people’s lives and culture from all over the world.

From simple photographs and sound and video recordings to complex film productions and documentaries, they all form part of the so-called Audiovisual Heritage which, thanks to the development of modern technology, can be a valuable treasure for future generations.

Honoring the day, the Archdiocese of Australia is happy to announce the successful initiative of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia to preserve audiovisual documents as sources of living memory of the Greek community in Australia. This initiative, with the blessing and guidance of his Eminence, is taking form with the creation of a digital ‘living museum’, which will store personal stories collected and recorded through audiovisual media, as well as previously unpublished photos.

The project titled, ‘Our People, Their Stories’ aims to systematically and methodically record and safekeep the personal stories of Greek people, first and second generation immigrants to Australia. Its mission is to ensure that these personal stories, narrated by the individual bearers of the historical memories themselves – who were oftentimes the protagonists or participants in significant historical events – will highlight important aspects of the collective history of Hellenism in the fifth continent. These are aspects which, until now, have remained in obscurity and which are in danger of being forgotten as the older generation of migrants gradually passes away.

Participants in this project include historians, journalists, cinematographers, and specialists in the narration of oral histories, while another important motive of the project is to encourage the younger generations to become actively involved in all stages of its development.

The project, ‘Our People, Their Stories’ is quickly being finalized and will soon be available online on the website: opts.org.au The audiovisual material will be constantly enriched and updated with new stories from members of our community. The material that will be posted on the living museum website, will be freely accessible by the public and will henceforth be the property not only of the entire Greek community of Australia but, more widely, of Hellenism everywhere abroad.

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