Living Archives

The 1960s -1980s witnessed an explosion of transnational exchanges between women and queers from the global north and global south, conjuring up new and powerful imaginaries of social justice and forever altering the landscape of movements for sexual and gender justice. Radical and critical autonomous Indigenous feminist and queer of color, and of all colors, subjects and movements left various traces of their theories and practices in alternative journals, leaflets, posters, pictures, poetry, artwork, music, personal writings, and the like. Yet, many of these histories have been erased, distorted, co-opted or forgotten, and with serious implications for today. This radical set of thinking, practices and imaginaries has not been systematically engaged; instead this social and academic formation has been predominantly occluded from historiographies of feminism and Women’s and Gender Studies.

This conversation seeks to re-animate and re-theorize this archive of feminist and queer anti-colonial internationalisms, convening a living archive and oral history of intergenerational struggles for social transformation. Part of a larger collective project on intergenerational historical memory, this conversation will bring together radical feminist activists of the 1960s-1980s with a younger generation of activists, archivists and historians. At its heart, we will ask: What does it mean to “archive” this internationalist imaginary of justice and what are the stakes in doing so today? Importantly, attention will be paid to what the radical re-theorization of this history brings to bear upon our intimate lives contemporary justice movements.