OCCUPY THE ARCHIVES: Saving Radical & Diverse Histories in a Time of Austerity

21 November 2021


Venue: Hackney Archives Dalston CLR James Library and Hackney Archives Dalston CLR James Library Dalston Square E8 3BQ

Organiser: Hackney Archives and friends

Patrick Vernon OBE (founder of Every Generation and Clore Fellow); Stefan Dickers (Library and Archives Manager at Bishopsgate Institute & Co-founder of the Network of Radical Libraries and Archives (NORLA); Joanne Anthony (Archives Manager, Hackney Archives)

In the ongoing spirit of Hackney’s non-conformist roots, join us for an afternoon of free-flowing debate & collective exploration using some of Hackney’s archive material as the inspiration… From CLR James to Stoke Newington’s “Angry Brigade”, we’ll take a look at questions like:

Is history only the preserve of the rich and powerful? the so-called ‘victors of history’? If not, how does creating your own archive matter in countering this? How do we intervene to ensure a more truthful and complete picture of the past? Can archives help to re-inspire new activism and affect change in our local communities? Who decides what we choose to remember Vs what we choose to forget? We encourage you to come armed with your own questions, but here are some more to kick-start the debate: Are we just a footnote in history? How do you ensure you’re not side-lined or silenced in historical memory? What can we learn from Black Power movements, radical publishers, and LGBT communities when it comes to creating crucial counter-narratives? Today, many mainstream heritage bodies still don’t reflect the true extent and diversity of voices that have profoundly shaped our local and global histories. If archives are the ‘raw stuff of history’ which historians draw upon, how do we ensure everyone’s voice is heard into the future? How do we document “the margins”? What is ‘radical’ or ‘marginal’? Who decides?