The Archive, the Activist, and the Audience, or Black European Studies: A Comparative Interdisciplinary Study of Identities, Positionalities, and Differences
in: Transit [new E-Journal]
Special Topic: Migration, Culture, and the Nation State
My aim in this brief article is the introduction of a new international and interdisciplinary project on Black Europe, which could be of some interest to German Studies for a variety of reasons that will hopefully become evident. In doing so, though, I would like to focus initially on one particular aspect of this project; it is, incidentally, the one that might seem less than fascinating at first sight: the attempt to re-discover and re-contextualize archival materials on the black presence in Europe. My central argument here is that a rethinking of the uses of archives could open up a number of exciting possibilities going beyond this particular subject: in making history usable and relevant for people who would not normally go near an archive, for students who have abilities in information processing their teachers often fail to tap into, for activists linking worldwide through internet-based networks, and for a new reading of existing but largely unknown or ignored materials.