Archive/Counter-Archive 2020 Symposium


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It is our great pleasure to welcome you to join us online for Archive/Counter-Archive’s 2020 Symposium, which will take place on December 10 and December 11, 2020.

The theme this year is Black lives and archival histories in Canada featuring talks by prominent scholars, artists and archivists.

The Symposium will consist of one keynote and two panels.
The talks will not be recorded.

Day One, Thursday December 10, 2020

12:00PM-1:30PM EST
Keynote: Deanna Bowen “Berlin, Berlin.”
Moderated by Monika Kin Gagnon.

Deanna Bowen’s presentation involves self-reflection and presentation of two interdependent exhibitions presented at the 2020 Berlin Biennale and the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery September 18 – February 28, 2021. Respectively, “The God of Gods: Berlin, Berlin” and “Black Drones in the Hive” extend critical interventionist research of the White nationalist ambitions that inform Canada’s cultural history and national narrative.

Make sure to REGISTER on Eventbrite for the keynote.

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Day Two, Friday December 11, 2020


12:00PM-1:30PM EST
PANEL 1: Place-based/Institutional Engagements with Black Histories: Janie Cooper-Wilson, Melissa Nelson, and Andrea Fatona in conversation.
Moderated by: Warren Crichlow.

This panel will discuss caring for diverse Black Archives from inter-generational perspectives. Panelists will explore the range of contemporary practices with community and institutional archives, their creation, and presentation. The discussions will engage with various types of preservation, research, archival pedagogy and training practices from Black practitioners in community, academic, artistic and professional archival contexts. Each will speak from their own experience in archives: both material place-based practices and online engagements.

Janie Cooper-Wilson: Proactively Dealing with Racism in the Archives
Andrea Fatona: Collecting and Re-coding Black Canada
Melissa Nelson: Critical Archival Thought: Integrating Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppressive Pedagogy and Training

Make sure to REGISTER on Eventbrite.

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2:30PM-4:00PM EST
PANEL 2: Artistic Engagements with Archives: Nadine Valcin, Cara Mumford, and Debbie Ebanks Schlums in conversation.
Moderated by: Malini Guha.

This panel will bring together artists engaging with Black and Indigenous archives and histories, individually but also in relation to each other. Remediation is a practice that creates tension between the “official” archive and the archive that is generated from the artistic process. What is created for community out of these remediations is a way to remedy the erasure and/or misrepresentation of Black and Indigenous histories in the colonial archive. The panelists will speak to questions about missing archives and the creation of accidental archives that emerge out of their creative processes. Through the act of revaluation, there is room to challenge national discourses.

Debbie Ebanks Schlums: Locating Archives in the Jamaican Diaspora
Nadine Valcin: The Accidental Archive: Searching for Blackness in Canada’s National Audio-visual Archive
Cara Mumford: Treble and Bass: Layering Archival VHS with Phytograms in the creation of “René Highway’s Prism, Mirror, Lens”

Make sure to REGISTER on Eventbrite.

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For more information about our Symposium, keynote, and panels, go to:

Contact: Axelle Demus at

Social Media
Facebook: @counterarchive
Instagram: @counterarchive
Twitter: @Counter_Archive