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Saturday, June 10 • 9:30am - 11:00am
Decolonial Frameworks in Afro-Latinx, Black-Chicanx, Latine, and Border Feminist Digital Archives

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This panel convenes scholars/communities of color in the Americas to discuss alternative digital/analog archives through decolonial frameworks, ethnic studies practices, and digital technologies. We center the stories of Afro-Latinx, San Antonio Black/Chicanx community members, Latine people and border women activists in digital and community-based spaces to disrupt monolinguistic, colonialist and patriarchal understandings at local and global scales. Collectively, we engage in discussions about Afro-Latinx digital projects that recenter the humanity of Afro-Latinx communities employing multi-lingual and multi-epistemic perspectives and putting into question mainstream ideas of data and their associated values. We explore transgenerational oral histories of a working-class community during the 1950s into the 1960s, in San Antonio, TX. We discuss the importance of conducting oral histories with underrepresented communities including best practices. We highlight the importance of cultural awareness to maintain respect at all stages of the interview process. Lastly, we present the first stage of a U.S.-Mexico transborder digital project that documents the collective memory through public records, oral histories and personal archival material of the anti-feminicides movement of the mid 90s in the Paso del Norte. Together, we articulate a vision for anti-colonial-patriarchal-imperialist interventions through alternative frameworks and practices that respond to present violence in analog and digital archives of communities across the Americas.

The first presentation titled, “Voice, Data and Afro-Latinx Decolonial Archival Practices,” discusses how two Afro-Latinx digital projects Las Caras Lindas and the DataLabe become digital decolonial archives that aim to recenter the humanity of Afro-Latinx communities. Centered around the use of voice and/or data, both projects create representations that question and challenge the “Politics of design” (DiSalvo) and propose alternative ways out of the “matrix of domination” (Constanza-Chock). The archives and living collections developed through these projects employ multi-lingual and multi-epistemic perspectives that put into question a singular idea of data and their associated values: transparency, objectivity, efficiency and accuracy.

The second presentation, “San Anto Soundscapes: A community oral history project on the West Side Sound,” focuses on the West Side Sound is a genre of music, also known as “brown-eyed soul” (Steptoe, 2016), or “Chicano soul” (Molina, 2017) that is tied to a historic barrio in Yanawana/San Antonio, Texas. Comprised mostly of Black musical styles, such as rhythm and blues, doo-wop, rock, and swamp pop, as well as elements of conjunto music, the West Side Sound reflects San Antonio’s Black/Chicanx/working class communities and histories (La Rotta, 2013; Molina, 2017; Steptoe, 2016). The West Side Sound Oral History Project collects oral histories of some of the musicians a part of this music scene which developed during the 1950s into the 1960s, along with interviews with the larger San Antonio community who continue to support this music.

The third presentation, “Learning from the Past: Archiving the collective memory of the anti-feminicide movement,” engages in the ethical practices that should be consider when creating public digital humanities work with vulnerable communities, involved in social justice movements across borders and the reconsiderations to document, access, preserve and visualize memory through oral histories, archival material, and personal and public data, taking into account the complexity that exist in cases of gender-based violence and femicides at the Paso del Norte border region (Chihuahua, Texas and New Mexico).

avatar for Sylvia Mendoza

Sylvia Mendoza

Assistant Professor, University of Texas at San Antonio, United States of America
She/her/ella. Chicana feminist born and raised in San Antonio, Tejas. Prince, cumbias, house music, corn tortillas and salsa, young adult lit, Black and Brown feminisms, trees, stories from the elders, dogs and big earrings bring me great joy. Committed to forever learning and growing... Read More →

Sylvia Fernandez

University of Texas at San Antonio, United States of America

Eduard Arriaga-Arango

Clark University, United States of America

Saturday June 10, 2023 9:30am - 11:00am EDT