Instances of creative community archiving we can learn from
Nurdle Patrol is a citizen science project run by the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (Reserve) to collect, report, and archive nurdles that wash up on beaches and rivers across the world. Nurdles are plastic pellets, the raw material for manufacturing plastic products. They degrade riverine and oceanic ecosystems and livelihoods, entering our food chains and water supplies.
Undergraduates at Emory University examine unsolved and unpunished racially motivated murders in Jim Crow American South, relying on primary evidence and secondary readings. In their words: "Emory students have focused their attention less on figuring out who-done-it (because in most cases, the assailants were known) and more on exploring why"
The Paradise or Panama Papers are 13.4 million leaked documents--emails, financial spreadsheets, passports, and corporate records-- from Panama Law Firm Mossack Fonesca that show how businesses, politicians, and public figures hide their assets in offshore shell companies to avoid paying taxes. In 2017, the European Parliament debated about how some member countries made it easier for corporations to avoid paying taxes, arguing for a more transparent EU-wide tax policy.
Tax avoidance and aversion in the United States is tied to slavery in the American South. Present-day colorblind federal tax policies that undermine working-class communities of color have deep historical roots in debates about whether enslaved people were property or persons.
Jerusalem, We Are Here is a digital storytelling project about the Kotamon neighborhood in Jerusalem from which Palestinians were expelled in 1948. An instance of participatory mapping, the project raises ethical questions about collecting sensitive and painful data, and how that data lives on in a digital public space.
Anthropologist Deborah Thomas writes about the decade-long project Witnessing 2.0, using archival material for reparative accountability in Jamaica. This book (2019) scaffolds the project's stakes by tracing how rebellious Black bodies were expelled and disciplined from life and the archive since the 18th century.