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What would happen if we start with a critical consideration of archiving that doesn't place the archive or the archivist at its center? What if instead, we begin with material and movements and then ask ourselves: what is the use of archiving this? who is this archive for?
The Social Movement Archive examines the role of cultural production within social justice struggles and within archives. This book contains reproductions of political ephemera-zines, banners, stickers, posters, memes, and more-alongside 15 interviews with artists and activists who have worked across a broad range of movements including: women's liberation, disability rights, housing justice, Black liberation, anti-war, Indigenous sovereignty, immigrant rights, and prisoner abolition, among others. These images and accompanying conversations illustrate the power of political art and ephemera to transform cultural practices, places, and communities; and its capacity to be a force for disruption in archival spaces.
Nora Almeida is a librarian, writer, and environmental activist. She is an Associate Professor in the Library Department at the New York City College of Technology (CUNY) and has been volunteering at Interference Archive since 2015 where she helps organize educational programs, media-making events, exhibitions, and more. She writes about critical pedagogy, social justice, performance, neoliberalism, and place.
Jen Hoyer is a New York City based library and archives worker and a long time volunteer at Interference Archive where she works on exhibitions, cataloging, and more. Jen loves working through how archives can help people understand themselves and their place in the world. She currently teaches K-12 students how to think critically about the world around them through the lens of the local history archive at Brooklyn Public Library.