“The Visual in Black Life”: Perspectives in Black Memory Work
From Meredith Hale
In the words of the late scholar, critic, and artist, bell hooks, “though rarely articulated as such, the camera became in black life a political instrument, a way to resist misrepresentation as well as a means by which alternative images could be produced.” Black librarianship and memory work has been integral to preserving the evidence of this resistance, the blueprint of an alternative future through ethical and culturally-informed collection, description, and engagement. Even in the context of today's digital landscape, Black stewardship continues to ensure the preservation of a people's history into the future, even in spaces yet to be imagined. Centering the work of stewarding collections of Black visual culture and Black artist archives, this roundtable examines some of the ways that this work has transformed and translated over different times and spaces. Attendees will learn from varying perspectives of Black visual culture stewardship through the voices of four Black women memory workers contributing to critical archival, curatorial, artist documentation, and publishing work. From stewarding private artists' collections and documenting Black women artists to photo curating for book projects and exhibitions, the presenters will offer considerations and strategies for caring for the rich history that is Black visual culture. This recording is made available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).