News Detail

07.03.2016

Taking a trip down FIA's memory lane

How was the International Federation of Actors born? Where did the organisation stand during the Cold War? Who contributed the most to the growth of the Federation, when and how? These are some of the many questions that the FIA Executive Committee decided to look into at its Paris meeting, in 2014. 

It is in this context that the FIA Secretariat decided to visit its archives in Bonn, Germany. Many years ago, FIA - like many other unions and global union federations, including FIM and UNI-MEI - entrusted the Archive of Social Democracy of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation with the preservation of its records. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation is a German political foundation, established in 1925 as the political legacy of Friedrich Ebert, Germany's first democratically elected President. This is the most important archive in Germany documenting the history of the labour movement. It hosts German and international sources from social democratic and socialists parties, free trade unions, as well as from individual politicians - including Willy Brant - and trade unionists within such organisations. 

Visiting the FES archives has been a memorable and inspirational experience for the FIA Secretariat. Strolling along thousands of shelves laden with historical documents all neatly and affectionately filed, we discovered many valuable documents reminding us of the militant leaders in whose footsteps we now walk, perpetuating their vision of solidarity and concern for performers around the world, in spite of and beyond all geographical and political barriers. We brought back a wealth of information not just to document the past but also to help us understand the present, focus on the future and inspire our next moves.

Documenting the history of FIA is a meticulous and extensive endeavor aiming to discover and assemble key historical documents, photos and interviews capturing the highlights of our Federation since its early beginnings in 1952. We intend to make some of this archival material available on FIA's website and later draw inspiration from it to complete a comprehensive account of the life of our federation.

In addition to this visit, we are beginning to hold and capture live interviews of women and men having played a substantial role in the history of our Federation. Many of them are still with us and they sure have a story to tell that is worth all the books in the world!

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have valuable resources to share that can help us complete this exciting project!