I signed up for this session tomorrow (well, “today,” as in thursday) because I do a lot of digital personal archiving (here, haha) where I count how much I repeat myself and it’s entertaining to myself… but I am also keenly interested in how we as a community, here, remember things, and how we as a community and a society at large remember things, and what it means to build a radical library. I’ll report back here tomorrow as the session happens!
AMC2020: Radical Libraries, Archives, and Museums: Rememorying the Deep: Dreams, Imagination & Alternative ARKives
This is the streaming link. It is also being recorded. Rev Zoom Live Captioning Meeting Attendee FAQ - Rev edit: that is not a streaming link haha
This is a black, indigenous, and people of color space. Opening with an acknolegement that we’re here on indigenous lands. Aligning ourselves with indigenous soverienity and black liberation.
Opening with a video, a clip of the beginning of: These Divers Search For Slave Shipwrecks and Discover Their Ancestors | National Geographic - YouTube
Ice (cream) breaker
Ancestors (I called Arlen Siu)
showing us an image by Lorna Simpson, Waterbearer (1986) image it opens sisters of the yam by bell hooks.
She saw him disappear by the river, they asked her to tell what happened, only to discount her memory.
This is why it’s so important to talk about creating our own archives. What records are legitimized? These poetic words remind us that no matter what witness we bring to a situation, if we are devalued, then our witness is devalued, and our memory is discounted.
I’m not a librarian, I’m not in academia, but I am a storyteller, and I’m honored to be in Lorna’s tradition, even a little piece of it, and that’s how I come to this work.
Here are some examples of alternative archives (ARKives on the slide) that have really inspired me.
Sofia Samatar, somoli american writer. carmen maria machado. known for being one fo the first people to name their work speculative memoir. Lily Hoang. Biomythography (Audre Lorde). Critical Fabulation (Saidiya Hartman).
Ark and Archive? Wordplay. Ark is a carrier, a vessel. Archive being about shape and geometry.
THey’ve given us theoretical and critical frameworks.
The missing record is the record. E.J. Koh, The Magical Language of Others: “Forty-nine letters were discovered after an unknowable number had been trashed or forgotten. In Buddhist tradition, forty-nine is the nubmer of days a soul wanders the earth for answers before the afterlife.” Her mother and father were in the US, went back to korea to work. Her mother wrote her letters from Soel for years. She’s referring to the letters that were lost. Even the shape of absence is archive, in this instance. Poetic approach to memory, even its shadow, its absence in fact, as archive.
Why name this “Rememorying”? Toni Morrison is a giant in my heart. Powerful contribution. Beloved quote. [if i type it all out i’m going to cry and then i won’t be able to read anymore.] [i typed in the chat ‘i think we carry ancestral rememory too, even when we don’t speak the same language as our ancestors’ and it got read by the presenter]
Pet rats will survive becuase their epigenetic memory is so strong. BTW this is the year of the metal rat! lol
Examples of archives
wendy c ortiz , bruja a dreamoir A record of her dreams. Definitely a form of archive.
Critical fabulation using historical documents: a work of fiction that draws upon the really toxic shit about enslaved people, so an example of critical fabulation is writing what she would have said (an enslaved woman in a trial who was not allowed to speak, but there are documents about this trial by white men). Considers it also a form of cleansing.
Journal entries. also, “Excavation” assaulted by her high school teacher. she’s centering her own memory as a 12 year old, not dismissing it.
now watching together this piece: Watch Dreaming Gave Us Wings | The New Yorker Video | CNE
it’s really moving
“the rest is mythistory”
presenter’s essay is here: The Fluid Dynamics of Black Being – GUTS
critical fabulation talks about writing into gaps and silences. those are the gaps and silences that i want to move into as as a writer. tension also: i dont’ want to write disrespectfully.
140 LBs: How Beauty Killed My Mother
By Susan Lieu
one woman show. mother died on the operating table, cosmetic surgery. asked father to channel mother, he resists, he relents, his voice changes when it happens.
“you cannot change the story. she had to die. that’s it.”
“am i exploiting your story? or am i honoring you?”
“don’t cover up the story”
ok now i’m crying rly hard lol i have to type w one hand. maybe taking a break from notes haha
okay i had to turn off my video haha. anyway now we’re doing a small movement exercise, we are invited to stay seated or stand up, and move for example to embrace moving, and embrace being stuck. there is always something that can still be moved even if you are stuck. <–that stuck out to me lol
now there is a break