Memory as Resistance: Grassroots Archives and the Battle of Memory

Events, exhibition, 16-27 November, Toronto (Canada)

Memory as Resistance: Grassroots Archives and the Battle of Memory

This November, CONNEXIONS and Beit Zatoun are spotlighting “grassroots archiving.”
Events include an open house and networking event November 24, a talk and discussion November 27, and an ongoing exhibit (November 16-27).

We would appreciate your help publicizing these initiatives.

We would also like to invite you to join the process of working toward an international network of mutual archiving and cataloguing of progressive resource centres, websites, and archives.

We are concerned about preserving the history of movements for social justice – both physical records such as magazines, newsletters, books, leaflets, etc., as well as electronic media such as websites. In addition to brainstorming about the problem of finding physical spaces for preserving radical history collections, we will also be discussing the idea of mutual archiving of websites and other digital media.
Alternative media and projects are often one misfortune away from disappearing. We hope to find ways of working together to make this less likely.

We are inviting projects and individuals concerned with preserving people’s history, and the history of movements for social justice, as well as members of the archives community, to join us in considering the future of grassroots archiving.

The event on Saturday November 24 will be an informal open house and networking event designed to allow people to meet and share ideas and experiences.

The event on Tuesday November 27 will include a talk about grassroots projects working to preserve ‘radical history’, as well as ample opportunity for questions, discussion, and ideas for future action and collaboration.

We invite you to join us at one or both events. We would also appreciate it if you would share this invitation with others who might be interested.

We hope that these events will be opportunities to network, discuss, brainstorm, share ideas and perhaps come up with ideas for collaboration.

If you’d like more information please call Connexions at 416-964-1511 or visit


Exhibition: Memories of Resistance
A display of social justice materials from the Connexions Archive.
At Beit Zatoun, November 16 – 27

Is that an archive in your basement... or are you just hoarding?
An open house and networking event for amateur archivists, keepers of
the radical past, and friends and supporters of independent libraries,
grassroots archives, and people’s history. Bring your stories, ideas,
and examples of grassroots and radical history.
At Beit Zatoun, Saturday November 24, 2:00 – 5:00 pm

Preservation as subversion: Do grassroots archives have a future?
The Connexions Archive is looking for a secure and permanent home for
its collection and the team of volunteers who work on cataloguing and
digitizing. It isn’t alone. Other grassroots projects and “basement
archives” face similar problems in preserving and sharing the history of
activist groups and movements. They all believe that a knowledge of the
past can be inspiring and subversive.

How can we preserve the history of our movements? Where can we preserve
Can we work together to digitize and share: ‘Archive locally, share

Come to Beit Zatoun for a talk and discussion with Ulli Diemer of
Connexions, Dennis Findlay and Helen Lenskyj of the Canadian Lesbian and
Gay Archives, and other guests.
At Beit Zatoun, Tuesday November 27, 7:00 pm

Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham Street, Toronto.M6G 2L8
Bathurst subway stop on the Bloor line (exit Markham Street)

For more information:
Ulli Diemer

The Case for Grassroots Archives

Memory as Resistance