Tsunami Archive as A Memory of the World

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Universitas Syiah Kuala (USK) successfully commemorated the 18th anniversary of the Aceh Tsunami through an international seminar. The event that collaborated with Indonesian National Archives (ANRI), was held on 13 – 14 December 2022, at AAC Dayan Dawood.

Prof. Dr. Ir. Marwan, USK rector, said that archives are crucial not only for one moment but there are valuable lessons that can be obtained for now and the future.

“The 2004 tsunami caused many victims. With the participation of USK-ANRI this year, we decided to host an international seminar. Hopefully, the information presented at this seminar will be used to educate future generations”, Prof. Marwan remarked.

The seminar themed “Lessons from the Aceh Tsunami Tragedy as Knowledge and Documentary Legacy” was attended by participants from ASEAN countries. The event also invited some experts including experts from Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.

“USK has a high commitment toward disaster. After the 2004 tsunami, USK established TDMRC (Tsunami & Disaster Mitigation Research Center) in 2006 as a disaster knowledge center and also launched Disaster Science Master Degree Program.” said the Rector.

Drs. Imam Gunarto, M.Hum, the head of ANRI conveyed the importance of strengthening the tsunami archives and expanding their scope. In 2019, USK and Aceh Government have held a similar national seminar. However, a recent event achieved a global scale because this international seminar is considered very significant.

“Alhamdulillah, this year fortunately the scale is international, which means that the level is up. 200 participants attended this commemoration directly on the site, and more than 1,000 participants were registered virtually. We will excavate the Indian Ocean tsunami archives”. said the ANRI head.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform, Abdullah Azwar Anas, on the same occasion, invited all participants to have a moment of silence, to pray for the victims of the Aceh tsunami which occurred 18 years ago.

“Due to the importance of the tsunami archive, this seminar is recognized as an important element to perpetuate significant documents. I am very glad to be able to visit USK and I appreciate the welcome from all stakeholders,” said the Minister of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform.

According to him, one of the lessons from the tsunami incident is the importance of joint mitigation. In addition, he praised the collaboration of the university with ANRI, thus the tsunami as a world event becomes globally recognized as a commemoration.

“UNESCO’s recognition admits the tsunami as the memory of the world, which means the government’s success in managing archives in world archives. This is also a form of soft diplomacy or culture diplomacy,” stated Azwar Anas.

Dr. Muzailin Affan, head of Syiah Kuala University’s Office of International Affairs, stated that this event was powerful, particularly in memory of the tsunami that occurred in several parts of the world so that we all can use the disasters as a lesson for now and the future.

Additionally, a special meeting to discuss the archives was held in the evening. Moreover, official visits were conducted at the tsunami museum, floating ship, and TDMRC of USK.

Categories: Activities