Ng – Question 2
2What particular opportunities and challenges do social-protest archives face?
¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 The practical question of how to archive video comes up again and again from the grassroots groups that we train and collaborate with. People are amassing video but are unsure of how to save and manage it properly. There is opportunity for social-protest archives working and experimenting in this area to develop new and creative methodologies for archiving that suit grassroots contexts.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 The major challenge is that “social-protest” archives often live in small, underfunded organizations rather than in well-funded institutions. Even with new and innovative approaches, it remains difficult to find and sustain the labor and technological infrastructure needed to maintain a functioning archive.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Outside of grassroots organizations that are creating video, there is growing interest among legal advocates and researchers in how video can be used as evidence of crimes—not just as individual videos but as collections of video to be analyzed as big datasets. Archives have long concerned themselves with questions relating to appraisal, collecting, authenticity, and provenance, which are all relevant to building collections that are usable and admissible as evidence. So I think there is an opportunity for archives and archivists to help guide best practices for dealing with video in a legal evidentiary context.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Of course, the use of materials from social-protest archives for legal evidence, or otherwise, presents ethical and security challenges. The people whose identities are captured in these archives may be put at risk; they may be from communities that are already marginalized or facing abuses, and they may be additionally targeted by authorities for taking part in protest activities. This is especially a concern if people did not know the documentation was being created or collected and did not consent to taking part.