By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, May 2: Artist-cum-archivist Sunil Sinha had his first digital archive released by East Guwahati MLA Siddhartha Bhattacharjee at a simple function at Bamunimaidam here today. The soft-spoken MLA added another area of interest – preservation of apparatuses used for playing audio-visual creative arts and events – to the archivist’s list of passions, with a humble request.
A commercial artist by profession, Sinha got his elephantine job Kala Mandir, a digital archive, done in association with Bishwarup Production Archive. The archive is indeed elephantine as it has around 20,000 programmes, capturing the life and valuable moments of the who’s who in the literary and cultural world in Assam and other States, including Dr. Bhupen Hazarika.
In his speech after the release of the archive, MLA Bhattachrjee said: “Audio-visual technology is changing apace. Every newer invention keeps on replacing an existing one, and this is a continuous process. What’s being used today will be an antique tomorrow. When viewed from that angle of vision, preservation of old and existing audio-visual players is equally important as the preservation of old and modern records is, for the future generation. Taking this in view, I request archivist Sinha to take to preservation of audio-visual players too, along with his archival venture. We have been witnessing that LP Record Players, cassettes and the like are outdated now, and CDs are following suit. Let’s make it a point to preserve such players so as to eble ourselves and the posterity to convert old and modern valuable creations into digital and other newer formats.”
Earlier social activist Shanti Kumar Sinha and former Assam SCERT Director Kumkum Singha, who flanked the MLA on the dais, spoke on the occasion. Detailing on the importance of digital archives, Kumkum Singha said: “It’s a small step for a man, one giant leap for the mankind. The first Bishnupriya Manipuri film made by former Tripura Minister Late Bimal Sinha couldn’t be preserved. If anybody possesses the cassettes, I’m sure that’s not in the mint condition. We can’t see that film now, let alone preserving it for the next generation. This is the loss we had to suffer due to lack of digital archives at that time. I have kept some valuable old cassettes, CDs and other records preserved at the archive at Kahilipara, Guwahati and at the State Government’s archive. I’m elated that now on we can keep such valuable records in Sunil’s digital archive as well. Wherever I attend meetings in Assam or elsewhere in the country, as often as not, I see Sunil with his camera, capturing all the valuable moments for the generation next. His efforts have come to fruition.”
Writer Promod Deka from the audience said: “Artists have a universal appeal. They look at things standing beyond the confines of caste, community and faith. Sunil Sinha is blessed with such an appeal.”
The meeting began with Sunil Sinha – a writer, artist, social activist, all rolled into one – detailing the content of the archive for which he had to spend around 15 years, since his prime of life. He said his archive has the lives and valuable events and moments of a large number of who’s who of Assam, including Bhupen Hazarika.
Digital archive on works of who?s who of Assam released
By our Staff Reporter