February 23, 2016

Decolonising Archives

L'Internationale Online

(1) Archivos en Uso’ platform, project initiated by Red Conceptualismos del Sur. (2) Image from the archive of Ryszard Kisiel, 1985/1986. Courtesy of the Queer Archives Institute. (3) Courgette sitting on a box with documents at Anita Fernandez’s place. Photo: Filipa César, 2015.

L’Internationale Online is a publishing platform for research, resources and discussion, launched in September 2014. The platform is the joint initiative of the museum confederation L’Internationale and KASK / School of Arts of University College Ghent, operating within the framework of the five-year programme The Uses of Art – The Legacy of 1848 and 1989.

Decolonising Archives
Archives bear testimony to what was, even more so than collections. Archives present documents that allow one to understand what happened and in which order. Today internet technology, combined with rapid moves made on the geopolitical chessboard, make archives a contested site of affirmation, recognition and denial. As such, it is of great importance to be aware of processes of colonialisation and decolonisation taking place as new technology can both be used to affirm existing hegemonic colonial relationships or break them open. Decolonising Archives is the third e-publication published by L’Internationale Online.

The contributions to this publication are divided into four sections. The first section presents reflections and results of the “Archives of the Commons” seminar held at Museo Reina Sofía on December 11 and 12, 2015. The second section engages with the possibilities and risks provided by new internet technology. The third section offers several contributions which describe different geo-political situations where the authors themselves belong to the excluded or marginalised communities they speak for, while in the fourth and final section these communities are part of the critical and self-reflexive observations of the researchers and artists who work with them from a position of privilege.

Contributors to Decolonising Archives include Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Filipa César, Wolfgang Ernst, Crystal Fraser and Zoe Todd, Ana Longoni (Red Conceptualismos del Sur), Carlos Prieto del Campo, Karol Radziszewski, Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Rona Sela, Andrea Stultiens, and a group of authors composed by Mela Dávila Freire, Marisa Pérez Colina, Carlos Prieto del Campo and Mabel Tapia.

The special guest editor is Rado Istok.

L’Internationale’s thematic issues include “Representation Under Attack” (May 2015) and “Decolonising Museums”  (October 2015). Both are available online.

L’Internationale Online: Research, Resources, Opinions
The platform is divided into four research fields: Politics of Life and Death, Decolonising Practices, Real Democracy and Alter Institutionality.

Thematic issues and EPUB publications related to the overall The Uses of Art programme are published in the Resources section of L’Internationale Online. Since May 2015, the first publication produced by the confederation, L’Internationale. Post-War Avant-Gardes Between 1957 and 1986 and published by springerin in 2013, has been available online.

The Opinions section acts as the discussion platform on the site. The invited bloggers from October until December 2015 were Gigi Argyropoulou, Vivian Ziherl and Clémence Seurat. Ela Meh is writing for this section between February and April 2016.


L’Internationale Editorial Board
The members of the editorial board are Nick Aikens, Diana Franssen and Steven ten Thije (Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands), Başak Çaka and November Paynter (SALT, Istanbul), Carlos Prieto del Campo (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid), Nav Haq (M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium), Sònia López (MACBA, Barcelona), Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez (KASK / School of Arts of University College, Ghent, Belgium), and Adela Železnik (Moderna galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia). The website is designed by Project Projects.

Contact and subscriptions
Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Managing Editor L’Internationale Online: [email protected]



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