Recording it Ourselves: A Day Event About DIY Cultures, Information, Archives and Heritage was an online event hosted via Zoom webinar on 20th March 2021. The event was a day long knowledge sharing event about DIY cultures (which we defined as grassroots and political cultures/practices – examples include grassroots spaces; music and zine making; blogging; podcasting; housing co-ops; activism etc) and archives, information and/or heritage.
The event aimed to create a space to build networks, share knowledge and support each other in grassroots heritage work. Presentations were given by projects including Decolonising the Archive, Mother Tongues Collective, Queer Encounters Kings Cross, the Gezi Archive, Archiv der Jugendkulturen and the Refugee Archive at University of East London. The event was attended by over 170 people, and successfully drew a mixture of attendees from activist groups, information sector organisations, research organisations and different community groups. The organising collective were a group of individuals loosely connected via DIY cultures, information work and/or research.
We were granted funding from the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies’ small grants scheme, which allowed us to pay all speakers, hire a live captioner for the event, and pay one of our collective to do event support admin work. Although payment for speakers at academic events is not standard, we believed that community members should be compensated for their time and labour – especially when doing information work outside of professional salaried posts – and encourage other collectives situated between the academy and communities to organise with similar politics.
Our final programme is available via our website here: https://recordingitourselves.wordpress.com/programme/.
A selection of recordings are also available: https://recordingitourselves.wordpress.com/presentation-slides-and-recordings/
As a collective, we hope to continue our work together in some format in 2022, and are exploring developing skills sharing workshops for our next project.