A state-of-the-art virtual archive, featuring Angola’s magnificent and diverse cultural and artistic assets through digitization and the use of new technologies.
The 21st century brought with it an era of technological advancements that revolutionized the world of information and knowledge. The digital revolt, which enables extensive use of the Internet, has intensified with the development of mobile technologies, and brought about a disruptive change in communication, business, commerce, culture and education, which influence all aspects of life.
The demand for quick and easy access to information at all times motivated the development of numerous digitization initiatives, making content, archives, museums and collections accessible and available as never before.
Angola is home to over 90 ethnic groups, each with its own unique traditions and customs. Its culture is a rich and complex tapestry of influences, reflecting the country’s long and fascinating history.
The cultural, artistic and heritage assets gathered in Angola overtime include works of music, dance and theater that represent the country’s different historical, cultural and ethnographic subgroups in various ways. Many of these cultural displays have not been filmed, recorded, preserved and catalogued and cannot be found in museums. Consequently, there is a concern that some of these testaments will vanish from the pages of history and not receive the recognition they deserve.
The e-Zomba archive is an ambitious flagship initiative of the Fundação Arte e Cultura (“The Fundação”) to restore, preserve and promote Angola’s cultural, heritage and artistic assets. The meaning of the word ‘Zomba’ is ‘the joy of culture’ in local jargon, describing the experience the initiative is designed to enable.
Using advanced technology and sophisticated digital means, the archive includes comprehensive documentation of filmed interviews with artists, music recordings, footage of various forms of traditional folk dances of various Angolan ethnic groups, films, theatrical performances, and art exhibitions from different eras. The archive also contains interesting collections, including record collections, masks, and sculptures. The archive is intended to encourage exposure, discourse and interest among researchers, students, historians, musicians, artists and the general public at the national and international levels.
The Fundação acquired an archive management software as part of the initiative, and trained volunteers and professionals to collect the materials, scan and upload the content to the software. The next stage of the initiative will include a dedicated website that provides query-based information from the archive management software.