Lectures and Workshops

Guerrilla Archives and Storytelling: Preservation of Community and Personal Histories in a Hostile Time Session 4

Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 6:30–8:00 p.m.

The Autry in Griffith Park

Free With Reservation
Reservations Required

About the Event

Session Four: Preservation as Protest-Towards Guerrilla Archives (article, Reginald Dwayne Betts)

In this workshop series created by Raina J. León, we learn from the visionary practices of guerrilla archivists and community organizers who preserve community histories for the benefit of future generations. From an intensive investigation of the past’s materials, we will use writing as a bridge of time and possibility. Source examples include archival resources (Assistance League of Los Angeles) from the Autry and the study of writing from Reginald Dwayne Betts, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Tim Hernandez, and Layli Long Soldier. Workshops can be taken as a cohesive series or as individual sessions, and thanks to the generous donations of Autry supporters, we are able to offer them for free. 

Join us as explore the guerrilla archival techniques used by researchers on the eve of the 2017 inauguration, Autry archives of Women’s March posters, the legal documents made into erasure poems by Reginald Dwayne Betts, and the persona poems of Patricia Smith written in response to news articles about state-sanctioned violence against black people. We will join together in centering the experiences of people of color and queer communities, brainstorming other guerrilla archival practices and beginning the work of writing our stories. Together we will continue the work of resistance for black lives, for humanizing communities, for justice.

About Raina J. León

An Afro-Boricua, native Philadelphian, daughter, sister, madrina, comadre, partner, poet, writer, and teacher educator, she believes in collective action and community work, the profound power of holding space for the telling of our stories, and the liberatory practice of humanizing education. She seeks out communities of care and craft and is a member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective, Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Macondo. She is the author of three collections of poetry: Canticle of Idols, Boogeyman Dawn, and sombra: (dis)locate (2016) and the chapbooks, profeta without refuge (2016) and Areyto to Atabey:  Essays on the mother(ing) self in the Afro-Boricua (2019).  She has received numerous fellowships and residencies and is a founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online quarterly, international journal devoted to the promotion and publication of Latinx arts. She is a full professor of education at Saint Mary’s College of California.