Activist Media Archives: De/Materializing Bodies
“Activist Media Archives: De/Materializing Bodies” will bring together artistic, scholarly, and activist communities to discuss the archive across 3 intersecting streams: national media archives, Indigenous media archives, and feminist/LGBT/queer media archives. This symposium offers activists, artists, and scholars a chance to interrogate the affective relationship between materiality, archives, and Canadian cultural practice. Within Canada, much archival material documenting the voices of marginalized groups is dematerial(iz-ed/ing); we hope to consider both why this is occurring and how we can create/have created new archival practices to reincorporate lost records, voices, affects and bodies. In the case of official archives, Diana Taylor argues that while the material itself does not change, “what changes over time is the value, relevance, or meaning of the archive, how the items it contains get interpreted, even embodied” (The Archive and the Repertoire, 19). What does the way we engage with conventional national archives, ostensibly records of a perceived national identity, contribute to colonizing practices? At the intersection of preservation, neo-liberal regimes, and (new) materialism, this will be a space to explore how and why the works of instigators of social change (activists and artists) are often unpreserved. It will also be an opportunity to explore affective and ephemeral archives, and the possibilities for new forms of media activist archivization across both digital and analogue platforms.