#WeMissiPRES - Call for Participation
Although this is explicitly not a conference, we take past iPRES conferences as our point of departure. Each year the iPRES themes have related digital preservation to the challenges of our times: a message about the relevance of our work that is all the more important this year. In 2020 we were promised an iPRES to ‘empower digital preservation for the enriched digital ecosystem’ without knowing quite how enriched or vital that digital ecosystem was about to become. With an ‘Eye to the Horizon’ (2019) we can see through the fog, to a place ‘Where art and science meet’ (2018). ‘Maintaining cultural diversity in the digital age’ (2017) has never mattered more, when we are facing a pandemic that touches every corner of the globe, and voices are raising the realities of racial inequalities on a mass scale.

#WeMissiPRES is not an official iPres conference. It’s not even a conference. It’s a collaboration and celebration of iPRES and all the digital preservation progress that has been made since the last gathering.

To get the conversation going, we have identified three themes:

Picking up the threads of 2019

#WeMissiPRES falls more or less on the anniversary of iPRES in Amsterdam in September 2019. It has been a year which few could have anticipated. What has happened with all the great insights and plans we shared then? Themes about the role of archives in structural inequalities, the sociology of digital technologies and the preservation of open source intelligence were particularly prominent in the 2019 discussions, and a whole slew of projects, technologies, use cases and solutions were showcased. How have they fared considering the many upheavals of 2020?

The Best of Digital Preservation, 2020

#WeMissiPRES gives us a chance to celebrate the best of digital preservation this year. That’s partly about how the digital preservation community has responded to the COVID-19 Pandemic, but also the economic crises, the social movements, and ecological traumas of the year. The biennial International Digital Preservation Awards also take place in 2020, and the global digital preservation community is invited to participate. Despite the gloom and worry there’s a lot to celebrate! #WeMissiPRES gives us an opportunity to do that.

Digital Preservation in 2021

#WeMissiPRES gives us a chance to consider the near future, relating digital preservation to the ‘new normal’. Let’s face it, 2020 has been so disrupted that at times we’ve all struggled to plan to the end of the week, let alone to plan the long term of our digital infrastructures. This conversation is urgent. Will it be ‘business as usual’ when we get back to work? Or will the return to normality mean going ‘back to the (unknown) future’? How do we capitalize on the successes we have demonstrated? What new challenges have arisen unseen? So we welcome reflections on actual events that have changed the world, and how digital preservation will have to accommodate them; and all other ideas about the future of digital preservation. One thing is certain, however: #WeMissiPRES also gives us a chance to relaunch and update plans for iPRES in 2021. So we will take this opportunity to give at least one small taste of the iPRES in 2021.

Presentations that encourage audience participation or introduce dialogue between two or more individuals are particularly encouraged. And we expect short presentations to be no more than about 10 minutes long. But there will also be an opportunity for lightning talks. Contributors are invited to estimate how long they think their presentation will last.

Please prepare a 100 word description of your presentation, thinking about the theme which best fits your proposal and how you would like to present it. Submissions should be made in English.

Submit your proposal by Wednesday 19th August.
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