Art and activism producing new archives

Literary and Artistic Archives: the blog of the Section on Literary and Artistic Archives of the International Council on Archives

Artists, scholars and activists are leading the way in the creation of new archives that document important social and political events. Increasingly they are filling some important gaps in the documentation of such events, particularly those resulting from major and rapid upheavals. Archivists working within the confines of established institutions and organisationss, places that are typically funded, resourced and authorised by national and sub-national governments, may be unable or unwilling to address these gaps for a variety of reasons. With the ubiquity of online tools, practically anyone can generate a documentation project that creates an archive.

This trend in the production of activist and artist-led  archives raises all sorts of questions for archivists working in these more traditional archival settings. Should they be aiming to link-up with these newly emergent trends in the production of archives and urging their institutions to engage with them? What are the ethical implications of…

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