Tag Archives: internationalism


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Tricontinental CollageTricontinental is a periodical founded by the Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America and published in Havana, Cuba. While working on the these journals I was introduced to international liberation movements in South Africa, South East Asia, Palestine and countries throughout Latin America. These articles provided a critical supplement to the thematic overview of Latin America that I extracted from my college courses.

These periodicals also highlight Cuba’s pivotal role in the social and political history of the international community from the revolution onwards. Cuba inspired national liberation movements throughout the world; countries still under colonial rule now had an example of liberation and a means of receiving aid in their resistance movements. Cuba models an alternative society especially in the way it administers international aid. Cuba participates in medical internationalism where doctors are sent to developing countries around the world. The articles included in Tricontinental reminded me to contextualize myself and the lens through which I analyze certain events, to always keep in mind alternative perspectives.

Check out our full collection of Tricontinental.


Visit to the South African History Archives

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About DSC02962a week and a half ago, I had the privilege of visiting the South African History Archives (SAHA) located in Johannesburg, South Africa. Although this visit was a small part of a larger trip, it was a memorable experience and one that allowed me to place our work in the Bay Area into a much larger international context. There are many similarities between SAHA and the Freedom Archives. Also founded by activists, SAHA describes itself as a “independent human rights archive dedicated to documenting, supporting and promoting greater awareness of past and contemporary struggles for justice through archival practices and outreach, and the utilisation of access to information laws.”

During the visit, I sat down with their lead archivist and talked about their practices, successes and challenges, many of which resonated mightily. Some of the common challenges included how to generate non-governmental funding and how to preserve the wealth of materials with limited resources. In practice, both archives are committed to forging collaborations, hosting interns and mostly work on a project driven basis. Besides their impressive and large amount of content, the aspect of the visit with really excited me was their commitment to outreach and using archival resources to inform not just researchers and scholars but also everyday people across South Africa. Every-time SAHA finishes archiving a major collection, archivists and educators collaboratively create a curriculum (available in a physical book with cd and online) that accompanies the collection, build an exhibit to support the collection and hold teacher workshops to get educators interested in the content and prepared to take it back to local schools. Often times, the exhibit and the teacher workshops travel around the country, truly representing an effort to connect the archives with local realities and struggles.


You can still see the former prison shower facilities outside the entrance to the archives.

A final note about the South African History Archives. They are located in a former women’s prison in the heart of Johannesburg which since the end of Apartheid in 1994 has been re-purposed to house a museum about the prison and political imprisonment, as well as numerous progressive organizations. This makes for an extremely thought provoking space, one that holds the heaviness of oppression, torture and isolation but also the energy of working to create a better society. In all, it was great visiting such an interesting space and to have the opportunity to learn from SAHA’s work. You can learn about SAHA by visiting http://www.saha.org.za/index.htm.


Black Panther Community Newspaper Project Underway!

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Firstly, welcome to our new blog! One of the many wonderful resources maintained in the Freedom Archives are a series of newspapers published by the Black Panther Party. These newspapers are not just fascinating historical resources with cool artwork, they truly represent a grassroots effort to provide Black communities relevant local and international news, draw linkages between liberation struggles, teach literacy and provide political education. Our collection of these invaluable resources has been uncatalogued for years, but not for much longer. We’ve enlisted some of our interns and we should have our entire collection cataloged within the next couple of weeks. Until then, enjoy this slideshow with samples from our collection.


ps. The Freedom Archives is always open to donations of BPP newspapers and/or other relevant historical materials. If you have materials that you think would fit well in the Archives or you would like to make a donation, please email us at info@freedomarchives.org


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