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This week, the Atlantic Archives network would like to mark pride month by highlighting some of the LGBTQ organizations we collaborate with.
These community archives were created as a part of our flagship project Mochileiros Arqivistas (Backpack Archivists), a transnational fellowship program supporting endangered Afro-Brazilian communities. The grassroots initiative trains socially-minded artists and activists to collaborate with marginalized groups on the development of community archives and special collections.
The inaugural group of six fellows was nominated by a multidisciplinary group of specialists representing cultural arts, academia and activism. They received training, technical knowledge and equipment to help local communities preserve their own histories. They attended lectures from artists, activists and intellectuals while designing their archives.
The Fellows were given custom backpacks with technology and preservation equipment relevant to their project. These starter kits are specialized for different kinds of archival work; some contain recorders and tripods for collecting oral histories and others contain photography for digital preservation. Each Fellow is awarded a monthly stipend to supplement their time. The result of the four-month program was an assemblage of collections curated by archivists-in-training and their community partners.
Over the course of the past year, our archives have hosted virtual tours and community dialogues with grassroots organizations like SpiritHouse in Durham, NC, and higher ed institutions like the Community College of Philadelphia.
Three of the archives are led by LGBTQ+ creators. They give us an authentic view of global realities of Black Queer communities and invite us to build new relationships and empower one another to take action both globally and locally.
Founder, Anastácia Flora Oliveira aims to document LGBTQIA+ existences from the Recôncavo region of Bahia.
“Our Black LGBTQIA+ bodies are marked by racism, where invisibleness is assigned to us before we are even born… In a rural region like the Recôncavo, sexuality, and gender are rarely discussed but violence is a part of everyday life. The Black LGBTQIA+ of The Reconcavo was created with the purpose of recording the existence of LGBTQIA+ black people from the cities of the Recôncavo. Through interviews and photographic essays, I seek to tell and make visible our stories and memories…”
Founder, Dante Freire is a trans visual artist with the mission of safeguarding the Afro-diasporic memories of the local art community in Salvador and other cities across Bahia. The project maps Afro-Brazilian visual artists and collectives and their experience creating and surviving in Bahia.
Bruno Santana is a Black trans man, teacher, researcher, poet and trans activist. He organizes two trans resistance collectives in the city of Salvador-Bahia. Transencruzilhadas da Memória” arises from the political and personal need to record, preserve and make visible the living memories of the community of trans men and Black Brazilian transmasculine people.
“It is an intelligent way of resisting through memory the violations of rights that affect trans populations in Brazil. Since such racial and gender identities are still marked by invisibility and social vulnerability.”
Follow these lgbtq+ archive accounts to learn more and also follow Atlantic Archives to get updated on our upcoming fellowship projects.