OURCHIVE

/ˈou(ə)r,kīv/ noun. verb.  A self-reflexive, collective-collection of community-led knowledge that remains willfully open, without completion, a process. 

Derived from Latin archiva/archia or from Greek arkheia public records, the Oxford English Dictionary describes archives most simply as "a collection of historical documents..." or the actual place in which records are kept. Originally derived from greek arkhē/ἀρχή, meaning a "thing is come to be known"-- or "beginning, source of action, origin", archives are romanticized often as the annals of great history (western civilization to be exact).

Community-based and social justice archivists have challenged, redefined and transformed the meaning of "archives" and the role of archivists, transforming discourses on what makes "proper" or "primary" knowledge. In an effort to place emphasis on the who and action of archiving, I've suggested the use of the word "ourchive."  The our indexes that there is a position in which a person(s) create a process of collecting and gathering-- gatherings that are irresistibly social, political, non-objective, poly-vocal, ephemeral, changing, incomplete, ghostly, queer...

 

 illustration by Shing Yin Khor, sawdustbear.com, @sawdustbear

illustration by Shing Yin Khor, sawdustbear.com, @sawdustbear


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