12 September 2014

[Video] Digital Amnesia (VPRO, 2014)

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Our memory is dissipating. Hard drives only last five years, a webpage is forever changing and there’s no machine left that can read 15-year old floppy disks. Digital data is vulnerable. Yet entire libraries are shredded and lost to budget cuts, because we assume everything can be found online. But is that really true?

For the first time in history, we have the technological means to save our entire past, yet it seems to be going up in smoke. Will we suffer from collective amnesia?

This VPRO Backlight documentary tracks down the amnesiac zeitgeist starting at the Royal Tropical Institute, whose world-famous 250-year old library was lost to budget cuts. 400,000 books and 20,000 magazines were saved from the shredder by Dr. Ismail Serageldin, director of the world-famous Library of Alexandria, who is turning the legendary library of classical antiquity into a new knowledge hub for the digital world.

Directed by Bregtje van der Haak / produced by VPRO Backlight, The Netherlands

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