Accepted Paper:

Interdisciplinary archival practices: An archive of creative observation.  


Andrew Stiff (RMIT Vietnam)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will describe the process of developing an urban archive, that exists as a tool for continued creative observation of the alleyways of District 4, HCMC, Vietnam. This archive is collaboratively developed between design academics and the Library at RMIT University Vietnam.

Paper long abstract:

Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam is undergoing period of rapid redevelopment, both economically and environmentally. This modernisation is bringing about not only physical changes but also cultural changes. One of the unique urban spaces under threat from change are the hems (alleyways). This paper outlines the process collecting audio visual material for the purposes of developing an archive of creative observation of the hems, in collaboration with the RMIT University Vietnam library. This collaborative development is unique opportunity to demonstrate the archive as a creative tool. Critically this archive records the built environment as a physical embodiment of the cultural practices of the District 4 hem inhabitants.

There were three key processes that informed the development of the project. The first was the specialisations of the participating academics and how they negotiated their own discrete practices in the project. Second is the collaborative development of the archive with the RMIT University library team. Third, is the development of exhibitions within the archive as a tool to present the material under relevant themes. With over a thousand audio visual items, collected and archived, production of new material will continue.

The aim is to make the archive central to the process of creative observation and production (Spieker. 2008) and one that is in a continual process of change and development, as well as continued content expansion and enrichment. These processes are expected to continue into the future as the hems change and new avenues of creative observation emerge ensuring the archive represents the hems future.

Panel P103
Archives and Anthropology