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What is a living archive? 
Sabra Thorner (Mount Holyoke College)
Fran Edmonds (University of Melbourne)
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Tuesday 23 July, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

This roundtable considers the idea of a “Living Archive” from different perspectives. Recognizing that conventional archival collections expose the trauma of colonial histories, we are interested in radically reimagining archives in ways that can be healing and regenerative.

Long Abstract:

This in-person roundtable considers the idea of a “Living Archive” from different perspectives. Conventional archival collections document and reveal the trauma of colonial histories: generations of warfare, the dispossession of people off their lands, massacres, slave labor, the forcible removal of children from their families, and violence perpetrated against the practicing of culture and language. There is an urgent need for truth-telling, “setting the record straight,” and for the recognition of a “right of reply” to harmful records – especially as people sustain their ways of knowing. This archival/activism work can be healing and regenerative. Collectively, we seek to disrupt assumptions about (and experiences of) archives – as infrastructures (buildings, databases) or repositories of text (books, documents) where one might go to retrieve authorized knowledge – and forge a new kind of archive that can hold-safe and also reinforce dynamic processes of knowledge-making and -sharing.

What do individuals and communities want and need in and from archives? How can digital technologies support their goals (and where do they fall short)? How might institutions be held accountable for past (and present) injustices? How does this work interconnect with Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property(ICIP) protocols and a growing global movement in Data Sovereignty? How might we unlearn what archives are and have been, and instead radically reimagine them as sites of Indigenous sovereignty, community activism, and contemporary art- and culture-making, places and contexts that enable and support storytelling and relationality? These are some of the questions we seek to wrestle with together.

Accepted contributions:

Session 1 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -