Feminisms Lunch Lecture: The Black Matriarch Archive & in c/o: Black women

Date / Time

April 6, 2021

11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Join the UIC Women’s Leadership and Resource Center and Gender and Women’s Studies for two presentations by UIC Museum and Exhibition Studies graduate students:

The Black Matriarch Archive
by Alkebuluan Merriweather

On September 20, 2020, The Black Matriarch Archive was launched. The first image featured my Great Grandmother Ruth Mabin holding one of my older brothers as a toddler. The original objective of the archive was to encourage members of the African diaspora to submit images and video documentation of Black elders, whether they may be grandmothers, great-aunts, godmothers, or caregivers. We seek to create an ongoing archive commemorating the Black women in our lives who were crucial in our upbringing.

In today’s age of social media it is quite common to see people archive through Instagram. Some examples are William Camargo who is the founder behind Latinx Diaspora Archives, Samantha Cabera Friend the artist and curator behind Quinceanera Archives, Rikki Byrd the Black intellectual behind Black Fashion Archives, and Renata Cherlise who runs the digital platform Black Archives Co. All of the people above are people of color who embody the roles of artist, curator, historian, and, more importantly, digital archivist. My definition of a digital archivist is someone that seeks to create a digital repository through social media, a website, or museum-based collections software. Anyone can be an archivist if they have a story to tell.

in c/o: Black women
by Andrea Yarbrough

With over 30,000 vacant lots throughout the City of Chicago, there is a unique ecological opportunity for public space and the future of deemed “blighted” or vacant land. When adequately nourished, there are possibilities to foster a greater sense of place and promote sustainable, restorative living for disenfranchised communities on the South Side of Chicago and beyond. in ℅: Black women (in care of: Black women) takes up this task bringing together poets, curators, farmers, mamas, dancers, organizers, teachers, cultural producers, youth, and visual artists, to collectively regenerate vacant lots as sites of care. By constructing functionally designed objects with sculptural elements, cultivating land, archiving and documenting histories of local women, and curating exhibitions and public programs, this socially-engaged practice exemplifies how communities can reclaim and reactivate their surroundings while navigating agency and ownership over vacant land.

Register to receive Zoom link!

The presentations will be followed by a response from Dr. Kishonna L. Gray, Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Communication, as well as audience Q&A.

CART live captioning will be provided. Please send any questions or additional accommodation requests to wlrc@uic.edu.

WLRC’s Feminisms Lunch Lectures series offers faculty, graduate students, visiting scholars, and activists an opportunity to present their projects, ideas, and works-in-progress on a wide range of topics and engage participants in lively and provocative discussion. For the Spring 2021 semester, WLRC is partnering with the Gender and Women’s Studies department to feature UIC graduate students whose current research, creative, or community projects engage feminist movements and scholarship.

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