Welcome to Archive/Counterarchive

Case Studies

Our Case Studies examine a range of themes, media, histories, and geographies through a selection of Canadian, community-based, and independent archives and collections. 

Each Case Study involves original research, excavating historical conditions of production, ties and meanings for a community, and production and presentation details. This excavation work will be combined with interviews with artists and key participants, seeking to uncover best practices, cultural protocols, and processes needed to sustain collections. 

Together, the Case Studies address unequal vulnerabilities and differences in accessibility across the media material. Through archival research, Case Study materials will also be safeguarded, migrated, and remediated into new forms.

AIDS Activist Media: Toronto Living with AIDS & Second Decade

Vtape's Case Study consists of two parts: the first focuses on new forms of Public Service Announcements (PSA) in the 1990s designed to function in conventional public venues for video (e.g. public access cable television); the second part examines Toronto Living With AIDS, a 1990-91 public access cable TV program made by artists and cultural workers.
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Arnait Video Productions: Living Archives and Survivance

This Case Study focuses on a collection of films and production materials created by Arnait Video Productions members. The Vulnerable Media Lab and the team of researchers from Queen’s University have been collaborating closely with the Arnait video collective of Inuit women to remediate, digitize and keep the Arnait archive alive and well.
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Beyond the Narrative: Preserving and Mobilizing Canadian LGBT2Q Films from 1970 - 2000 in the CFMDC Collection

The Case Study focuses on key Canadian LGBT2Q+ films made between the mid-1970s and the early 2000s that lay dormant in the collection. We are exploring this time period due to its current inaccessibility; queer works in the collection from this period exist solely on celluloid or outdated video formats. The rapid obsolescence of these formats in the early 2000s, however, has made this era of our LGBT2Q+ collection elusive to scholars, programmers and the public. Nearly 100 titles (over 30 hours) concentrated between 1984 - 2000 are being digitized from their original format for the first time through this Case Study.
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Found Footage: Re-Examining the History of the Winnipeg Film Group

Founded in 1974, the Winnipeg Film Group (WFG) is central to any history of independent and experimental filmmaking in Canada. The WFG Case Study is extending the preservation efforts the Film Group itself has undertaken in recent years, digging deep into their archives to identify those films sidelined and subordinated in conventional histories of the organization. These works have the capability of transforming our understanding of the city, its cinema, and the cultures that converge here.
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From Birchbark Scrolls to Online Activism: Archives at Urban Shaman and Shoal Lake 40 First Nation

This Case Study is exploring relationships between archives, art, and Shoal Lake 40 in relation to the city of Winnipeg and Anishinaabe archival protocols. This Case Study is activating archives through Indigenous methodologies as praxis-based and relational, relating to, and orienting through, the land and its histories, expanding the archive beyond traditional colonial forms of documentation.
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Gendered Violence: Responses and Remediations

This Case Study’s multigenerational and intersectional research engages with VIVO’s archives, spanning multiple fonds and initiatives by women, LGBTQ2, feminist and BIPOC media makers and activists. This Case Study is researching the issues of gendered violence, asking how these have been represented historically, in what contexts, through what social networks, government policies, and judicial systems, and to what effect?
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Through Feminist Lenses: Women and Video Works at Groupe Intervention Vidéo

Since its beginnings, GIV addresses subjects like feminism, immigration, sexuality, relationship to the self, violence, discriminations and oppressions, aging, technological transformations, etc. With this Case Study, we would like to think about the ways in which video artists approach these subjects and themes, throughout the years. These works bear witness to changes and evolutions. The main question that this Case Study is exploring is: what is expressed by women through the video works that GIV distributes, from 1975 to now?
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