Posts Tagged awareness

Archives & Activism Symposium

As part of New York Archives Week next month, the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (ART) and the New School Libraries and Archives are pleased to co-sponsor a symposium on archives and activism.  They have posted a preliminary schedule and are still accepting registrations for the October 12 event.

The symposium covers topics surrounding the contention between activists movements pushing for reforms vis-a-vis conceptions of the archivist’s role in handling materials of cultural and social significance as one originating from hegemonic and traditional institutional frameworks.  This symposium thus offers to reconceptualize the role of the archivist as societal needs evolve and technologies emerge while balancing the archives’ commitment to the institutions that fund and administer them…

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Register Your Support for the Universal Declaration on Archives

To raise awareness of the profession, the International Council on Archives (ICA) is enlisting the support of the public to promote Universal Declaration on Archives (UDA) by signing the UDA online register.  The UDA has been endorsed by the ICA as a key pillar of its outreach and advocacy policy and strategy.  Followers and supporters may also share the link to further publicize the Declaration.

The UDA was adopted in principle in 2009 at the ICA Annual General Meeting in Malta.  It was developed by a special working group of the ICA, the SPA (Section of Professional Associations), based on the model of the “Déclaration québécoise des Archives“.  On 17 September 2010, the ICA unanimously approved the text of the UDA at their Annual General Meeting held in Oslo.  On 10th November 2011, the UDA was officially endorsed by UNESCO and adopted by the 36th plenary session of the General Conference of UNESCO .

The Declaration concisely outlines the unique characteristics of archives and the management requirements to provide ongoing records access. It has been conceived as a basis for advocacy and promotion to support archives and the profession, and addresses a wide public. Available in 25 languages, it is a statement of the relevance of archives in modern society and marks an important step in improving understanding and awareness of archives among the general public and key decision-makers.


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Bringing Awareness of Archives & Human Rights to China

Simon Chu, a Government Archivist in China and former Director of the Government Records Service, has been trying to bring archives legislation to Hong Kong to empower the records service.  As a member of the Archives Action Group, Chu has long advocated for this cause.  In an article he’s written for Human Rights in China, he cites the Guatemala case of the 2005 discovery of the Secret Police Archive as an example of the function of creating and managing records to keep archives.  Currently the records service is equipped with guidelines on how public servants are to manage their records.  Without appropriate legislation, records officers and archivists have no authority to enforce the proper management of records.  This, Chu states, has lead to the arbitrary destruction of “six million pieces of records”.

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Politics of Memory Conference on Guatemalan National Police Archive


On December 1-2, the University of Texas at Austin (UT) hosted a conference as part of its collaboration with the Historical Archive of the National Police of Guatemala, or the Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional (AHPN). The interdisciplinary conference marked the unveiling of a UT-hosted digital archive that will serve as an on-line digital repository for millions of documents from the Historical Archive of the National Police in Guatemala. The conference considered how use of the Archive has helped to deepen understanding of Guatemala’s history, and to advance human rights, both crucial to strengthening Guatemala’s embattled democracy…

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Occupy Wall Street Library and Archives

According to a November 16 blog entry in Occupy Wall Street Library, organizers have not been able to locate library materials through the mayor’s office since the materials’ seizure.  Claims have been made that, “Many books [have been] destroyed. . . most of [the] library is missing…damaged or destroyed”.

Incidentally organizers had begun collecting archival material as part of the library collection.  In a separate effort altogether, Ben Alexander, Professor and Director of the Archival Studies Program, and Head of Special Collections & Archives, Queens College, CUNY, aims to form an archival group to support the nationally organized effort to document and capture the evolving Occupy movement.

Here is Alexander’s proposal:

“…I do not pose this suggestion as a political comment or strategy.  My interest is exclusively archival.  Simply, I suggest that this movement is a defining extension of an on-going process of activism, and advocacy for Civil Rights that is at the center of the American experience.  It is a defining movement of our time.  Further, I believe the Occupy movement (the strategy of arguing for the interests of 99%) is shaping evolving discussions of inclusion and plurality as we enter the 21st century.  As I result, I feel it important that professionals assist in its documentation and memory.

I propose “Occupy Archives” as working title for this group.  Most succinctly, I propose that this group establish a network of contacts and archives who agree to lend professional assistance and advice to the Occupy movement.  I have contact with many members of the Occupy Wall Street movement and state their universal commitment to preserving and documenting these efforts.  (Many of you may be aware of the 5,000+ volume Library at Occupy Wall Street).

It would seem a logical extension then for interested institutions to offer direct involvement in both capturing the movement as well as preserving its evidences.  Or, to simply provide for the movement’s documentation.  A further extension would seem a collaborative digital presence.  At Queens College we have begun work on all of the above to very interesting and appreciated (by Occupiers) result…

At present, and to get started, I would suggest my compiling a list of interested professionals / institutions based on response to this message with an eye towards outreach and engagement with the “Occupy” community.”

To get involved in Alexander’s proposal, contact him via email.

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Partnership Opportunity for RIM Growth in 2011 with RIMA Foundation

Yesterday I received the following message announcement from the organizers at Records & Information Mangement Awareness Foundation (RIMA Foundation).  The RIMA Foundation is an Nigerian-based organization committed to promoting the proper management and security of records and information:

The annual Records and Information Management Awareness Workshop & Exposition (RIMAW), the Africa’s premiere and only dedicated information management and security event in its seventh year provides a forum for IT, marketing, business and information management professionals to find unlimited relevant advice, educational content and to compare solutions in a unique gathering.

Building upon the successes of previous events since 2004, RIMA Foundation a Non-profit NGO would like to call on corporate organisations and individuals in the industry for a partnership opportunity as we prepare for the 2011 edition of this prestigious event slated for October 2011.

Why you need to partner with us:

• meet your 2011 Strategic plan to reach the RIM Market in Africa speedily and effortlessly
• show case your products and services
• have the opportunity to meet and networking with users, senior level decision-makers and practitioners in the industry
• coverage on all event materials
• links and banners on website
• distribution of your product’s information at the event to every delegate and speaker
• interaction with highly focused, motivated, engaged and receptive audience in a relaxed environment

Other Opportunities at RIMAW 2011 includes:
• paper presentation
• media sponsorship
• special product presentation/demonstration
• exhibition
• welcome drinks
• conference dinner
• lunches and breaks etc are well attended and provide exceptional exposure for your partnership

With a truly international audience, the conference provides an excellent opportunity for you to demonstrate your support for the ongoing cause for the development of the RIM Industry especially in Africa by being involved as a partner. We have put together a number of different packages, which we hope will enable a wide range of organisations (both private and public) to participate.

We also welcome advice, comments, and suggestions on how to make this year’s event bigger and better from you all.

More RIMAW 2010 Pictures are available on Facebook at:!/album.php?aid=198259&id=168327532894

For details, interested organisations and individuals should contact:

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Impunity at Stake in Timor Leste – the Role of Outreach

Earlier this month it was reported that judicial processes in Timor Leste to bring justice to the victims of human rights abuses in 1999 were blocked.  After a 24 year occupation by Indonesia, marked by political unrest, armed resistance, forced displacement, torture, and arbitrary detention, Timor-Leste gained its independence in a 1999 referendum.  The human rights abuses of the years prior, however, only intensified coming up to the vote and pro-independence groups and individuals were targeted.  Recently the parliament has delayed the passing of two laws intended to implement recommendations of Timor-Leste’s two truth commissions, the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) and the Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF).

In a publication released this week by the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP), Impunity in Timor Leste: Can the Serious Crimes Investigation Team Make a Difference?, the ICTJ highlights this lack of political will to bring justice and accountability to victims.  The report presents a study of the current measures taken by the UN Serious Crimes Investigation Team (SCIT), formed in 2006.  Section 5 of the report presents efforts to raise awareness of SCIT’s work among the victims, mostly in rural areas.  The SCIT is assisted in this capacity in part by the Public Information Office of the UN Integrated Mission for Timor-Leste.

The partnership has allowed advocacy work in the sphere of victim outreach through the release and distribution of newsletters regarding the work of the SCIT in the region.  As a result, victims’ support networks in villages and collaborations with local NGOs are on the rise.  Despite the failing of the parliamentary government to establish in force the mechanisms required to carry out justice, the role of outreach and other civil society groups cannot be undermined.

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