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A History of UNESCOAnd Action! UN and UNESCO Coordinating Information Films, 1945–1951

A History of UNESCO: And Action! UN and UNESCO Coordinating Information Films, 1945–1951 [The history of the relationship between UNESCO and the UN coordinating body for film encapsulates the challenges and tensions of the founding phase of the UN and its specialized agencies.1 The choice of information films as a lens through which to view the early history of UNESCO is based on the fact that the organization was founded at the very time when cinema-going was at its peak in the 20th century, just prior to audience fragmentation in the 1950s. Making your mark in 1945 meant appearing on the world’s screens. The stakes were huge. Well aware that half of the world’s population were illiterate,2 UNESCO was particularly attracted to this medium as it would complement its worldwide delivery of information to all, literate as well as illiterate audiences, and work as a powerful tool for modernization. This commitment also followed the sustained interest in the uses of film for educational purposes since the days of the League of Nations.3 In 1945, UNESCO was planning a film and radio information service while, at the same time, in New York, the UN was setting up its Department of Public Information, including a division for visual information, in the form of both still and moving images. Surveys and memoranda from 1945 and 1946 stressed the need to avoid duplication, but the central concern was to have a strong visual presence. Who would see to it? How, and with what resources?] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

A History of UNESCOAnd Action! UN and UNESCO Coordinating Information Films, 1945–1951

Editors: Duedahl, Poul
Springer Journals — Feb 26, 2016

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Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright
© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2016
ISBN
978-1-349-84528-6
Pages
73 –96
DOI
10.1007/978-1-137-58120-4_4
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[The history of the relationship between UNESCO and the UN coordinating body for film encapsulates the challenges and tensions of the founding phase of the UN and its specialized agencies.1 The choice of information films as a lens through which to view the early history of UNESCO is based on the fact that the organization was founded at the very time when cinema-going was at its peak in the 20th century, just prior to audience fragmentation in the 1950s. Making your mark in 1945 meant appearing on the world’s screens. The stakes were huge. Well aware that half of the world’s population were illiterate,2 UNESCO was particularly attracted to this medium as it would complement its worldwide delivery of information to all, literate as well as illiterate audiences, and work as a powerful tool for modernization. This commitment also followed the sustained interest in the uses of film for educational purposes since the days of the League of Nations.3 In 1945, UNESCO was planning a film and radio information service while, at the same time, in New York, the UN was setting up its Department of Public Information, including a division for visual information, in the form of both still and moving images. Surveys and memoranda from 1945 and 1946 stressed the need to avoid duplication, but the central concern was to have a strong visual presence. Who would see to it? How, and with what resources?]

Published: Feb 26, 2016

Keywords: Public Information; Motion Picture; Mass Communication; Consultative Committee; Interwar Period

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