07 Jun 2023 New Media Development issue looks at unfinished business of archival justice
Power is at play when it comes to the question of whose stories, both individual and collective, are preserved as public memory, says Editor Philip Lee in “Archival Justice: Unfinished Business,” the latest issue of Media Development.
In his editorial Lee notes that “what is archived or retained in political, economic, and social structures — including languages and the media — embodies inclusions and exclusions, discriminatory attitudes and behaviours, one set of rules for the elite and another for the rest.”
The 02/2023 issue of WACC’s quarterly journal argues for archival justice. Lee says that this re-imaging of public archives aims for “fair and balanced representation in the public collection of information and data that frame society’s interactions with itself.”
“Records and archives should include and represent all within a society,” argues Stanley H. Griffin, The University of the West Indies (Mona, Jamaica). He outlines steps being taken towards “archival decolonization” in the Caribbean, including collecting non-paper materials, training in recovery of public memories, and using digital community archives.
WACC President Embert Charles takes a look at the role of language rights in archival justice. He highlights how “discrimination against indigenous languages has resulted in minimal recording and archiving” and traces grassroots work in Saint Lucia and elsewhere in the Caribbean to promote French Creole languages and achieve official recognition.
Sparkle Ferreira, The University of the West Indies (Mona, Jamaica), stresses the need to adapt international systems of records and information management to local realities. She makes recommendations to move towards a model “which is homemade and/or inherently Caribbean.”
Sandra Obradović, London School of Economics and Political Science, examines “whose memory and why.” She suggests taking “a critical approach to memory, unearthing the power relations that underlie the process of remembering … by considering more openly and critically the socio-cultural content in which remembering occurs.”
A reflection on the centrality of communication rights for sustainable development in Africa and a review of prizes awarded by the Ecumenical Jury at the 73rd International Film Festival Berlin round out the issue.
Articles in Media Development 02/2023 include:
- Archiving ‘Unwritten’ Stories: Enabling Efforts Towards Archival Justice in the Caribbean, Stanley H. Griffin
- Caribbean French Creole languages, historical and contemporary prejudices, Embert Charles
- Making records and information management culturally relevant in the Caribbean, Sparkle N. Ferreira
- Whose memory and why: A commentary on power and the construction of memory, Sandra Obradović
- Communication for all in the digital age: An African perspective, Charles Okigbo
- On the screen
Image: Brad Collicott