Electronic future for culture and heritage We are pleased to present the penultimate issue of i4d magazine, focusing on e-Culture. Culture and heritage have moved rapidly from the world of amphitheatre and traditional media. The world has ushered in the wave of new media domain for showcasing and documenting the cultural experiences of communities and providing a bigger and hopefully more sensitised community of viewers and appreciators. The opportunities and examples abound wherein organisations and cultural groups have used the media for digitising knowledge, for documenting oral history, weaving the web with a plethora of aesthetics and in itself creating a multi-faceted media full of graphics, arts, colours, languages, cultures and content domains. These projects and efforts that have been documented in this issue have shown the role of e-Culture in preserving and presenting the cultural heritage in line with the challenges of the future; demonstrating valuable assets.
These have been possible due to rapid technological advances. This involves innovative research into new technologies and applications, not only those that apply to the cultural domain but to related fields as well. The projects that are presented are illustrations of what these new technologies may mean for how we work, communicate, learn and play. Clarity and informative contents have been the key features of some these initiatives. UNESCO, Hivos and SDC have been leaders in supporting such initiatives. At i4d, we produce a daily news service, and have found e-Culture news to be rare material for coverage.
The question is: Is there not enough happening? Are these initiatives not media-savvy? Or, are culture projects not thrust areas for ICT for development? We hope to be able to build a repository on e-Culture on our website, for which we seek the support of agencies that are deeply engaged in supporting and promoting e-Culture. We are already planning the next year’s issues, which we hope to focus on the Millennium Development Goals. With our last few year’s experience we are aiming to become a knowledge portal on all critical issues of ICT4D. Please do let us know how we have fared, whether we have done a worthwhile job of serving the community and what are some of the thrust areas where we should continue to be engaged in.