Talk: Multimodal Archives and Multi-sited Presence: Cultural Production, Intergenerational Activism, and Belonging in Diasporic Communities

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1 to 2:15 p.m., Feb. 16, 2024


This talk considers the kinds of grassroots archives created by artists and activists who insist on being seen on their own terms. These artists and activists belong to diasporic, racialized communities (Central American, Mexican, Chicanx) in the US and Mexico (Los Angeles, CA and Oaxaca, Mexico). Anchored around the concept of multimodal archives, this paper puts cultural productions like murals, zines, and music (lyrics and videos) in conversation with digital and social media usage, more traditional archival material and ethnographic data to better understand how young people are theorizing radical politics, race, identity, and belonging. These theorizations refuse easy categorization and demand an embrace of the messiness and contradictions involved in collective struggle to create more just worlds where racialized, migrant communities are seen and treated as bring fully human. The archives constituted by such productions and practices link communities, events, and histories across temporal and spatial geographies and scales thus generating rich insights into how artists and activists create and strengthen community across national borders and various categories of difference. Included in this paper will be attention to how these archives link physical and digital sites, ephemerality and permanence to create what I call multi-sited presence.