Could a Spotify playlist be considered an archive? How do hashtags challenge our finding aids of certain communities? Social and digital media tools and platforms have increasingly been utilized to advance community-centered approaches to archives, collections, and interpretation. These methods decolonize the archival practice and assert the presence of marginalized communities. This challenge comes as critiques such as #archivessowhite and #museumsrespondtoferguson have been pushed by professionals of color from within the field. This talk is a theoretical and practical exploration of what I call ‘radical archives’ to expand the intersections of race, gender, ethnicity, and identity. How do we as GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) professionals, educators, and scholars learn from this engagement toward greater intersectionality in our interpretations? How do these radical archives bridge GLAM institutions? These social and digital media tools and platforms are utilized to interact with the archive that are not legible to the institution and confront perceptions of cultural fluency.
Ravon Ruffin received her M.A. in American Studies with a concentration in Museums and Material Culture. Ravon’s primary academic interests include urban sustainability, digital culture and Black feminist discourse as a means to redefine the museum as a community institution. She is co-creator of Brown Girls Museum Blog, a site to promote the visibility of minority communities as museum professionals, audiences, and creatives. She is currently an independent contractor, and consults for museums and cultural institutions to aid in social media amplification, greater inclusionary practices, and community engagement.