Forging Metals, Shaping Identities
Girard Philip E. Bonotan who was part of the ASEAN project team that worked on the first phase of the ASEAN Cultural Heritage Digital Archive (ACHDA), shared his personal insights on the planning of virtual archive’s inaugural exhibition and the role of digital technology in cultural education.
As a former officer of the ASEAN Secretariat’s Culture and Information Division (CID), Bonotan have personally seen how the ACHDA project developed over the years. It was conceived as one of the key recommendations of the ASEAN Member States during a workshop participated by museum professionals in 2015. There were many discussions hold with the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting for Culture and the Arts (SOMCA) and ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (ASEAN COCI) to refine the project and make it relevant to their needs. The initial phase of the project was participated by museums and libraries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The Government of Japan through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) supported the project and partnered with the digitising company, NTT Data.
The ACHDA website was launched in early 2020, and less than a month later many countries went into lockdown. Access to digital resources became increasingly important, and Bonotan believes ACHDA proved its immense value in continuing cultural education when the vast majority of people could not visit museums. Digitised collections such as the ACHDA act as effective bridges between people and their heritage, not necessarily to replace the functions of museums but to complement them.
Read the full article in The ASEAN Issue 21 2022 (page 68-69).