Workshop announcement: Archives into the Future, Decolonising the Archive

possible antislavery delegation in london (small)
Image: ‘No Caption [anti-slavery delegation to London?]’, Alice Seeley Harris, 1911-12, courtesy of Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

Archives care for the past, but what is their role in caring for the future? The ‘Archives into the Future’ seminar series, organised by Antislavery Usable Past, provides a forum for creative debate about the issues facing archives today and seeks to explore innovative approaches towards using archives in the future.

On 26 March 2019 at Friends House in London, the final ‘Archives into the Future’ workshop will consider ‘Decolonising the Archive’. The issue of decolonising institutions has received increasing attention, with demands that universities, museums and other institutions challenge frameworks that prioritise Eurocentric perspectives.

This workshop will consider these themes in relation to the production and use of archives (in particular but not limited to colonial archives). Archives bear testimony to what was, but the archive is not neutral territory – how can archives be used to confront problematic legacies and assumed knowledge in new and challenging ways?

The workshop will consist of short talks and roundtable discussions, to encourage an exchange of ideas between archivists, historians, curators, academics, artists, students and other interested parties. There will also be a launch of ‘Congo Antislavery Visual Culture’, a new digital collection produced by Antislavery Usable Past. This archive features interpretations of the collection of nineteenth-century photographs produced by Alice Seeley Harris, a British missionary working in the Congo Free State. This project is in partnership with Congolese artists, educators and students.

See here for further details and to register for the workshop. 

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