Archive/Counter-Archive (A/CA) stands in solidarity with Black organizers, activists, communities, and members of our network during this time of heightened unrest. The call to stand in solidarity is one that must involve both reflection and action against anti-Black racism and systemic violence. Through our community partnerships and research, A/CA is dedicated to the amplification of Black, Indigenous, and POC voices by interrogating the systemic barriers faced by communities engaged in memory-keeping.
In the face of historical discrimination and archival violence enacted through cultural erasure within traditional memory institutions, we wish to underline the importance of communities creating and preserving their own records, and the need for resources to support these efforts, in order to remember this moment beyond the current media cycle.
We recognize that memory-keeping institutions have a responsibility to combat racist practices and to affirm the importance of Black lives, and would like to reiterate our explicit commitment to social justice and anti-racism in our work. We are committed to countering the hegemony of memory institutions that have traditionally not collected the histories of BIPOC, women, the LGBT2Q+ community, and immigrant communities. These communities hold counter-archives that push back against a history of patriarchal white supremacy.
Counter-Archives are inherently political, ingenious, resistant, and community-based. They are embodied differently and have explicit intention to historicize differently, to disrupt conventional national narratives, and to write difference into public accounts.
A/CA wishes to reiterate its commitment to:
- Amplifying the voices and histories of BIPOC, LGBT2Q+, women, and immigrant communities through our Artist Residencies and Case Studies
- Supporting BIPOC, LGBT2Q+, women, and immigrants building personal, community, and/or collective archival collections through access to our network of resources, archivists and librarians, and digitization technology
- Actively seeking to remove systemic barriers within institutional archives through our partnerships with organizations like the Archives of Ontario, Library and Archives Canada, The National Film Board, and the Cinémathèque québécoise
- Addressing copyright and access issues, specifically to Indigenous materials in order to support repatriation
- Developing counter-curriculum and counter-pedagogical practices that fight against cultural erasure and re-center BIPOC, LGBT2Q+, women, and immigrant perspectives and viewpoints in the classroom
In the coming weeks, we will be sharing a list of resources that we are taking the time to gather and craft with the help of our network. Among other things, this list will include Bail Out Funds, resources to support BIPOC artists and organizations doing memory work, and educational resources such as a reading list on racism in the archives, the arts, and audiovisual history in Canada.
We are grateful to the communities, artists, partner organizations, students and researchers that we are able to work with. We hear the call to be vigilant in anti-racist work and do so in the pursuit of justice and equity.