This March 7-10, 2018, we gathered in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough), on Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg territory, for an exciting symposium and multi-day workshop, Manifesting Resistance: Conversations about Intergenerational Memory Work across ‘the Americas.’ This project came together as a collaboration between Aging Activisms (based at Trent University, led by May Chazan) and Critical MediArtStudio (cMAS, based at Simon Fraser University, led by Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda).
Over these four days, we came together as a small, intimate group of scholars, artists and activists from across “the Americas” to begin a conversation about intergenerational memory work, resistance, and creative archive-making. We understand “the Americas” as a geographical demarcation constructed through colonialism: we use this imperfect language to acknowledge that participants hail from across Turtle Island and beyond, including from locations outside of the often singular, homogenous, US-centric conception of “America” and indeed outside of the “Global North.”
This gathering unfolded in two interrelated parts. In our opening symposium on March 7th, we grounded our conversations in the land and territory in which we gathered – learning about some of the important activist remembering underway in Michi Saagiig territory and here in Nogojiwanong. We carried forward from this opening the question of how land, place, and territory might shape all of our different memory projects, in varied and possibly unexpected ways. Then, from March 8th to March 10th, we facilitated a collaborative media creation workshop, working as a smaller group to interview and photograph each other, to share in a series of circle conversations, and ultimately to co-create a collection of short media capsules or digital stories about our memory projects. As a research event, our collective meaning-making of this work aims to push the boundaries of how we conceptualize activisms, archives, aging, and the intersections of these.