Tropea – Question 4
4What is the relationship between social protest and social-protest archiving?
Curator of Films & Photographs – Maryland Historical Society Project Manager – Preserve the Baltimore Uprising Archive
¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 This question seems to imply that protest and archiving are strictly black and white activities, when in fact there’s so much gray area in between. I am not certain there necessarily must be a relationship between social protest and social-protest archiving. There have been a lot of social protests that have produced materials that do not live in archives. However, when there is an attempt to build a relationship between protesters and archivists, it’s difficult to see a downside. When the first meetings to develop the Preserve the Baltimore Uprising Archive were planned, we put out a public call for submissions and reached out to select organizations such as Baltimore Bloc and Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, who are known locally as activists, to join us. At the very least, we wanted them to be aware of our efforts.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 We are fully aware of the fact that we cannot collect every perspective and every angle of the Baltimore Uprising of 2015. However, we did feel that we could do a better job than the local and national media outlets were doing. The thinking behind the Preserve the Baltimore Uprising Archive is that the collecting of materials that document social protest should become more complex and more inclusive. That’s why we attempted to collect materials from protesters as well as witnesses and bystanders of all ages and backgrounds. Archivists must be aware not only of the dominant and counter narratives but also of the reality that a multitude of narratives can exist in-between. This awareness can help us to collect more robust holdings.