Category Archives: Freedom Archives Events and Trips

Activist Archiving 101

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Hello,

During our recent trip to Detroit, we collaborated with Sine Hwang Jensen, librarian at the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library, to present a session at the 19th annual Allied Media Conference entitled Activist Archiving 101. Held every summer in Detroit, the Allied Media Conference brings together a vibrant and diverse community of people using media to incite change: filmmakers, radio producers, technologists, youth organizers, writers, cultural artists and more.

 

Our session was intended to empower activists to be stewards of their and/or organizational archives and share basic tools, strategies and resources that already exist that we can draw from to ensure that future generations will have access to our ideas, materials, experiences and lessons. Important conversations around the importance of human relationships and accountability to our communities, blurring the line between documentation and journalism and corporate control of social media made for a vibrant and engaging session. We were thrilled to be joined by over 50 people clearly demonstrating that documentation and the legacy of our movements is something many people are thinking about.

You can find tools, resources, principles from our session on activist archiving and more HERE. More from our trip to Detroit soon!

Also, if you haven’t gotten a chance to donate to our summer fundraising campaign, please take a moment and help us continue the important work we do. Your SUPPORT makes all this possible.

-Nathaniel

Handala

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Color Images taken in Dheisheh Refugee Camp outside Bethlehem (March 2016); Black and White Images taken from Democratic Palestine (Sept. 1987).

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Color Images taken in Dheisheh Refugee Camp outside Bethlehem (March 2016); Black and White Images taken from Democratic Palestine (Sept. 1987).

 

Recently, the Freedom Archives was a part of the first US delegation to Palestine focused on political imprisonment and designed to strengthen the solidarity between Palestinian and US prisoners. During our ten day trip, we were empowered and humbled by stories of the ways many Palestinians maintain their culture and dignity while resisting the brutality of the Zionist colonial project. One of the methods of resistance is through revolutionary art, an example being the image of Handala.

Handala, created by political cartoonist Naji Al Ali, is a child refugee who always has his back turned to the audience as he watches policies and events unfold. Handala is now an icon of Palestinian defiance and is seen the world over as a symbol of resistance to oppression.

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Top: The names of villages of origin are inscribed on the ceiling at the Ibdaa Cultural Center in Dheisheh Refugee Camp (March 2016). Black and White Image taken from Democratic Palestine (Sept. 1987).

Al Ali spent most of his childhood in refugee camps and began sketching outside and inside of his family’s tent. He also developed his drawing skills in prison after he was arrested by the Lebanese military intelligence. His political cartoons are critical of the Israeli, Arab and United States governments. Al Ali’s cartoons effectively called for change and revolution, making him a threat to Israeli occupation.

Al Ali was assassinated on July 23rd,1987 by the Israeli military.

The following images weave the historical representations of Handala with some of what we saw during our trip. Truly Palestinian resistance is still alive!

You can learn more by visiting our collection on Palestine.

The Burning Urgency of Now

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herman bell imageDo not condemn these men to prison for life as they’ve already spent decades there. Be not in a rush to throw fresh stones at this misfortune without taking a long look in your own mirror and see the face of injustice that has long been a bane to the long suffering of Black people so that others might exact from the sweat of their brow, stripes across their backs, and terrorist lynchings to attain the untold wealth and prosperity that this nation currently enjoys. And even today you continuously lock them in your prisons in unprecedented numbers. The urgency of now is upon us.

When is “enough is enough?” The burning urgency of now calls for change, for a sharp turn into the headwinds of new possibilities for ourselves, for our children and for our nation. We want these men home. Release of them would be symbolic. Thus retribution for retribution sake is liken to a dead letter with no forwarding address.

-Taken from a recent letter written by political prisoner Herman Bell. Read at Freeing Our Political Prisoners, San Francisco, California on October 23, 2015. Herman Bell is a former Black Panther who has been locked up since 1973. Since his imprisonment, Herman has continued his work as an educator and activist.

Prisoners and Politics: from the San Quentin Six to Pelican Bay

SQ6 defendants Fleeta Drumgo; Hugo Pinell; and David Johnson stage an impromptu sit in at San Quentin in 1975 when trial jurors toured the prison
SQ6 defendants Fleeta Drumgo; Hugo Pinell; and David Johnson stage an impromptu sit in at San Quentin in 1975 when trial jurors toured the prison.

Greetings,

Last Wednesday we co-sponsored Prisoners and Politics: from the San Quentin Six to Pelican Bay with Shaping San Francisco. 518 Valencia was standing room only with the space packed to capacity. The four panelists all shared interesting perspectives and drew important connections between historical and contemporary prison resistance. If you missed it, or just want to hear it again, follow the link below to a podcast of the entire event. We’ve also included the approximate timing for each panelists if you want to jump around. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a great event!

Prisoners and Politics Podcast

Author of Captive Nation Dan Burger (08:00- 32:00); original member of SQ Six David Johnson (32:30-48:00); original member of SQ Six Luis “Bato” Talamantez (48:00-54:30); National Lawyer’s Guild attorney Caitlin Kelly Henry (54:30-1:12:00); Q and A (1:12:00-end).

-Nathaniel

 

Recent Outreach Updates

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WhenFreedomBecomesResponsibility2

Zine created and published by Brenda Montaño

Greetings,

This past week has been a busy one for the Archives! Please consider making a donation (on our blog) or here to help the archives continue to remain grounded in the community and conduct outreach programs such as these:

Asian Pacific American Library Association Conference at USF: We presented at the Building Bridges with Organizations Community Session which brought together a wide range of community organizations and Asian American librarians from all over the country. The session provided us an opportunity to showcase our resources, meet with potential collaborators in the Asian American community, and forge connections with libraries, information centers, and other organizations.

UC Berkeley Debate Camp: We visited a high school policy debate camp at UC Berkeley to talk with students about this upcoming year’s topic which is about curtailing domestic surveillance. We watched COINTELPRO 101 to provide students with a robust historical context on the issue of government surveillance and discussing the political stakes of domestic surveillance beyond individualistic privacy rights. After the documentary we split into breakout groups to further engage certain topics and get feedback from the students. The discussions were wonderful and the students were able to connect issues such as Stop and Frisk, TSA searches and Islamophobia to larger issues of counter-insurgency and state repression.

When Freedom Becomes Responsibility- Collecting Stories of Xican@ Resistance in Colorado: A former intern, colleague and comrade Brenda Montaño debuted her zine highlighting her experiences working with us in Colorado on our upcoming documentary on the Xican@ student movement. Lots of great stuff in this zine!!! To purchase her work search SING YOUR LIFE LITERATURE PRODUCTS on etsty.com.

-Nathaniel

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