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Accepted Paper:

A (not so) radical idea of slow folklore archiving  
Maryna Chernyavska (University of Alberta)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation offers a discussion of slow archiving framework as applied to folklore archiving. It questions archival practices prevalent in today’s fast world and oriented to more product less process, and suggests that if we truly care to build relations with communities, we need to slow down.

Paper long abstract:

Many folklorists have indirectly and, sometimes unknowingly, engaged with the idea of slow folklore archiving. They recognize the importance of complex contextuality for the collection of cultural expressions in the fieldwork process. Geographical and temporal are two very obvious factors important for the creation of safe and comfortable space for sharing traditions. No less important and necessary to understand are personal and group dynamics which are significant for the creation of relations between the individual or group sharing their traditions and those with whom they share. We were trained to listen and observe. And while some fieldworkers have more aggressive interviewing style and clear agenda, many others do allow for the interview to take its course, and for the interviewee to lead the conversation. The themes and patterns emerge in this process and later transform into research questions and projects. While we acknowledge that such a respectful and reciprocal approach to folklore archiving is also the most ethical, how do we reconcile it with the world’s fixation on productivity, with shrinking budgets and growing workloads, with the constant demand of project-based work, and granting agencies requiring innovative ideas and concrete, quantifiable results? Can we allow ourselves to slow down when archiving folklore? How does folklore archiving during the pandemic impact our practices?

Panel Arch03
Being bold in the archives: innovative folklore archival practices [SIEF Working Group On Archives]
  Session 1 Monday 21 June, 2021, -