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Memory Work as Care Work: Black Archives and Archival Practices
Zakiya Collier, Steven G. Fullwood and Amy Sall; Conversation Curated by Kristen Joy Owens
Thursday, April 12 at 6 pm

“Memory Work as Care Work” explores the ways Black archives and archival practices testify to the complexity of how Black life is lived, documented, and remembered. During this conversation, Zakiya Collier, a Brooklyn-based, Black, queer archivist and memory worker; Steven G. Fullwood, archivist, writer and co-founder of the Nomadic Archivists Project, and Amy Sall, founder and editor-in-chief of SUNU: Journal of African Affairs, Critical Thought + Aesthetics (SUNU Journal) will discuss memory work as a practice that goes beyond archival labor.

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Meet the Speakers:

Zakiya Collier is a Brooklyn-based, Black, queer archivist and memory worker. Her work with African-diaspora and community-based collections includes leading the #SchomburgSyllabus project as the digital archivist at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; designing, co-leading, and securing grant funding for the Linking Lost Jazz Shrines project at Weeksville Heritage Center; and consulting on the organization and preservation of Marilyn Nance’s FESTAC ‘77 collection. Both in her research and in her work, Zakiya explores the archival labor, methods, structures, and poetics necessary to preserve and access both the material and immaterial artifacts of quotidian Black life. She holds an MA in media, culture, and communication from New York University, an MLIS from Long Island University, and a BA in Anthropology from the University of South Carolina. Zakiya is an affiliate of the Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies at New York University, an interim board member of the Archival Education and Research Initiative, and a guest editor of a forthcoming special issue on Black archival practice in The Black Scholar.

Steven G. Fullwood is an archivist and writer. He is the co-founder of the Nomadic Archivists Project. Fullwood is the former assistant curator of the Manuscripts, Archives & Rare Books Division of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. His books include Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call (2014) and Carry the Word: A Bibliography of Black LGBTQ Books (2007). Currently, Fullwood is the co-host of In the Telling, a podcast focusing on the global Black family experience, and a regular contributor to The American Age podcast.

A graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Senegalese-American cultural entrepreneur Amy Sall holds a master’s degree in human rights studies with a concentration on the right to development and youth empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa. She received her BA (2012) in culture and media studies from the New School University, with a concentration in cultural studies and a minor in journalism.  Sall is the founder and editor-in-chief of SUNU: Journal of African Affairs, Critical Thought and Aesthetics (SUNU Journal), a pan-African, post-disciplinary platform seeking to amplify emerging voices and perspectives on matters and ideas concerning Africa and its diaspora. From 2016 to 2017, she was a part-time lecturer in the Culture and Media Studies Department of the New School University’s Eugene Lang College, where she developed and taught two courses: Third Cinema and the Counter Narratives, and The African Gaze: Postcolonial Visual Culture of Africa and the Social Imagination. She was a 2016 Independent Curators International and RAW Material Company Fellow.

With a keen interest in cultural studies, African affairs, and artistic expression, Sall is interested in the ways in which visual culture, literature, postcolonial and critical theory inform, shape, and encourage contemporary discourses surrounding the socioeconomic, political, and cultural. She consults on projects, programming, exhibitions, and research relating to contemporary African and Afro-diasporic visual culture (specifically photography and cinema). Her consulting also extends to projects and research centered on African/Afro-diasporic theory, literature, and social science. Sall is a collector of vintage vernacular photography, printed matter, and ephemera of Africa and the diaspora (ca. 1950s–70s). These pan-African items are housed in her small but growing private collection, the Sall Collection. The Sall Collection was established with ideas of cultural preservation and sovereignty in mind. Its existence serves as a means to maintain agency by pushing back against the neocolonial ways of archiving, collecting, and disseminating African and black artifacts. In addition to her academic and entrepreneurial pursuits, Sall has collaborated with and been featured in campaigns for fashion and beauty brands such as J. Crew, Armani Beauty, Chloé, MANGO, and Kenzo. She has been featured in publications such as Vogue, Glamour, W Magazine, and Kinfolk

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