Removing Records Documenting Acts of Violence and Atrocities from the Archive (Poster)


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Poster presented at the 2012 iConference (with Emily Kozinski). For short paper, see: Kozinski, E., & Hank, C. (2012). Removing records documenting acts of violence and atrocities from the archive. In
Proceedings of the 2012 iConference, Toronto, ON (pp. 58-59). New York, NY: The Association for Computing Machinery. doi: 10.1145/2132176.2132287.

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Removing Records Documenting Acts of Violence and Atrocities from the Archive (Poster)

  1. 1. Removing Records Documenting Acts of Violence and Atrocities from the Archive Emily Kozinski and Carolyn Hank School of Information Studies, McGill University; “The work of the archivist is not simply a work of memory. It is a work of mourning.” ~ Jacques Derrida ABSTRACT RESEARCH QUESTIONS CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK This poster identifies nations and societies where records 1) What are the implications when records documenting What is an What is documenting acts of mass violence were destroyed in acts of mass violence are destroyed? archive? destruction? order to conceal evidence of wrongdoing. From an 2) What is the link between memory and archives? extensive review of the literature, 19 cases in the 20th and 21st century were uncovered, presented below. This 3) What is the role of professional ethics? mapping was done parallel to a broader examination into 4) How can the contents of an archive help healing? the importance of societies protecting documentation of the past in order to prevent collective forgetting or denial, What are What is ensuring that memory of past events remains. ethics? memory? MAPPING OF CASES BY ONSET OF CONFLICT Former Yugoslavia 1910s 1940s 1960s 1980s Wars of Secession Uzbekistan Russia n=2 1930s n=4 1950s n=7 1970s n=6 1990s 1991-2008 Armenia Post-Communism Soviet repression Turkish invasion 1991-Present 1945-1991 1915-1923 East Germany Stasi 1950-1989 Spain Francoist Era 1936-1975 Haiti Dictatorship Greece Cambodia 1957-1986 Military dictatorship Khmer Rouge period 1967-1974 1975-1979 Guatemala Civil War Philippines 1960-1996 Martial Law 1972-1986 El Salvador Rwanda East Timor Salvadorian Civil War Genocide Indonesian invasion 1980-1992 1994 Sri Lanka Civil War 1975-1999 1983-2009 Chile Zimbabwe Pinochet Era Post Independence 1973-1989 1980-1999 Argentina Dirty War South Africa 1976-1983 Apartheid Era 1948-1994 DISCUSSION & IMPLICATIONS How to ensure the safety of archives The unreliability of ethics and the issues this poses Waning interest in archives for justiceReference | Address given by Derrida on 1998 visit to South Africa, as quoted in V. Harris, Archive and Justice: A South African Perspective (Chicago: The Society of American Archivists, 2007), 301.