Digitization creates new forms of archival access. Digital archives potentially transcend constraints of location and materiality, but face new challenges in the long-term conservation and availability of digital native formats and contents. How exactly, then, does the digital transformation of archival access shape and change cultural production and the creation of novelty?

The digitization of cultural heritage carries the promise of unlimited equal access for all potential stakeholders. But while digitization offers the potential of transcending physical constraints of place, location, and materiality, digital infrastructures, storage and circulation formats, and access interfaces carry and create their own sets of constraints, of technical limitations, and are bound by policies and other political restrictions of access.

Concurrently streaming platforms from YouTube to Netflix and have significantly expanded the reach of the Nigerian and Korean film industries. Thanks to digital networks Nigerian and Korean filmmakers and television producers have been able to reconfigure the global (im)balance of power and redraw the map of cultural production. Digital networks and platforms have in turn led global investors to engage with regional film industries in new ways. But these new forms of entrepreneurial engagement with regional film industries also leads to processes of aesthetic adaption and of reformatting filmmaking templates with a view to further expanding the reach and potential resonance of films and other audio-visual formats.

The promise of an increasingly limitless access to both cultural heritage and more specifically regional film histories and to global audiences creates a tension between the persistence of historical templates and the requirements for streamlined global circulation. At the same time historical templates and regional histories have been emerging as an important and distinctive creative resource in an increasingly de-localized digital marketplace.

Working Area C studies how digitization reshapes notions of cultural heritage and transforms historical templates into important sources for the production of novelty and new modes of audience address and audience engagement with new forms and formats.


To find answers to these questions, Working Area C uses a mix of textual and formal analysis with both qualitative and quantitative approaches, archival research, qualitative interviews, industry analysis, and digital methods.