Disrupting Mainstream History Track

Memory keeping, storytelling, and community archives

Community-based historical storytelling and archiving can empower, and create representations that affirm, support, and create a spirit of self-worth for marginalized communities. Community stories offer lessons from the past, connections to the present, and insight for the future. The Disrupting Mainstream History Track will explore how to produce, retain, preserve, and reuse community stories in support of efforts for justice, liberation, and social good. We will explore accessible tools to save, document, and share community stories. Through dialogue, panels, workshops, screenings, and meet-ups, participants will build relationships, develop preservation practices and skills, and gain insights into various efforts to document and share community stories. Topics may include models for community archives, indigenous frameworks of preservation, remixing archival material for creative use, and open-source DIY archiving solutions. Together we can help disrupt the silences and erasures found in mainstream history.

Coordinators of this track are Itza Carbajal, Graciela I. Sánchez, Cory Fischer-Hoffman, Ayshea Khan, Rachel Mattson, and Caroline Rubens.

Disrupting Mainstream History

Call for Participation

Calling all community-based memory-keepers, preservation activists, documentarians, radical archivists, organizers, photographers, storytellers, disrupters, historians, artists, and others!

Join the Disrupting Mainstream History Track to explore issues, develop strategies, and identify tools of preservation, representation, and documentation. This track seeks presenters who recognize the value of the past as a framework for constructing a future that includes us and recognizes our worth.

We seek proposals that:

  • Encourage conference participants to discuss, critically evaluate, and learn about the value of defying an incomplete historical narrative
  • Highlight strategies for challenging silences, underrepresentation, marginalization, misrepresentation, or erasure of community stories
  • Demonstrate approaches or introduce technological tools that can be used to support efforts to save historical materials (both physical and digital) - especially those that are accessible to individuals and groups with access to limited resources
  • Highlight creative programming or community engagement projects using identity and place-based archival materials in fostering education and dialogue around cultural heritage
  • Appreciate artistic projects that repurpose and remix historic materials with present day realities

Suggested themes/activities:

  • How to preserve human rights abuse documentation materials
  • Hands on workshops using accessible resources (open source software, hardware, equipment, etc.) for preservation efforts
  • Indigenous frameworks for remembering history
  • Identifying and alleviating gaps/silences in the historical/archival narrative
  • Archives as a strategy to fight displacement and gentrification and to shape development
  • Screenings of archival footage (home movies, gatherings, protest, actions, etc)
  • Collaborating with archival institutions (what to do, what to expect, where to go, what to give or not)
  • Oral Histories and Storytelling Approaches in organizing
  • Disaster Response workshops to save items (natural or human induced disaster)

When submitting your proposal, please let us know whether funding will heavily influence your ability to participate. If your proposal is accepted, we will do our best to support your involvement!

If you have any questions please contact Caroline Rubens at crubens@appalshop.org.

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