In 2011, a small group of audiovisual archiving graduate students, professionals, and academics were inspired to action by the rise of the Occupy Wall Street Movement in Zuccotti Park. Concerned about the fate of the evidentiary material appearing on YouTube and other social media sites, Activist Archivists aimed to support the movement’s efforts to protect and preserve its content. As this need for open and publically accessible archival resources became more and more apparent to us, our mission evolved to include everyone struggling to safeguard audiovisual material, be it a small organization, a family, an artist, or an activist.
This led to some fruitful collaborations, particularly with Occupy Wall Street Archives Working Group, Internet Archive, and Third World Newsreel, the latter who helped us mount the first “Home Video Day,” at DCTV in New York City, March 2014. That event, geared toward community engagement and celebration of all individuals documenting their own narrative, was a fitting culmination of what we initially strove to achieve.
With our founders scattered across the country, their lives blessedly filled with careers, families, and other projects, Activist Archivists has failed to remain…active. The momentum that inspired Activist Archivists into existence has moved onward and blossomed in multiple directions, with current and former members channeling their passion for community archiving into other efforts – XFR Collective, WITNESS, Community Archiving Workshop, and Interference Archive to name a few.
Soon, this website and its contents will only exist on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine; our Google Group has been opened to the public and will be left unattended. The Twitter feed and Facebook page will remain active at this time, disseminating information about community and activist archiving activities, and as a hub for networking with those interested in similar issues.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Activist Archivists over the past four years, who have dedicated their time and talents towards developing a culture of archiving that is accessible by everyone.