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Source: Capture on Youtube on 29/06/22

Arkivens dag 2021 – Dolda röster i arkiven (International Archives Day – Hidden voices in the archives)

Anna Tascha Larsson, Jonelle Twum, Larissa Borck


Keywords: museum, history, women’s history, black history, collaboration, cultural heritage
Threads: Cooperating with(in) arts and culture, Remembering

Short description

Anna Tascha Larsson, museum director at Stockholm Museum of Women’s History
Jonelle Twum, founder and artistic director at Black Archives Sweden
Larissa Borck, antiquarian with focus on digital development at Sörmlands museum

At International Archives Day, the museum of Sörmland invited Stockholm Museum of Women’s History and Black Archives Sweden to converse on the topic of “Hidden voices in the archives”.
Historically, the stories and perspectives collected and saved in archives are very homogenic. Whose perspectives are saved today and whose lives are found in our archives? What strategies can we have to fill the blind spots in the archives? How can we document the present to make sure that tomorrows history books can show our diverse society? These questions were asked in this livestreamed talk.

Stockholm Museum of Women’s History and Black Archives Sweden also present how they work in a progressive way in the cultural heritage sector. The museum is built around the idea that they can achieve the biggest impact by working in collaboration, so they are organised as a membership organisation where other museum’s and cultural organisations are members. Both organisations in the talk also bring up how the public is participating in their work.

Personal appreciation

Today, we struggle to tell the history of others than those who were in power. The lives, struggles and contributions to society from for example women and minorities are hard to find in older archives, and when they are found it’s rarely told through their own voices.

In this conversation, a museum and an archive focusing on women’s history and black history talk about strategies for how we can change this for the future, both in the big institutions, and through initiatives like ours, and how we can achieve a real change through collaboration. It’s important to act now, or future history writing will have similar gaps as todays history books.

Today, the possibility to make yourself heard has made easier through internet and social media. But these voices will be drowned in the amount of information, and social media is not an archive, we have seen platforms disappear, and all the information with it.

In this conversation, we try and amplify the need for the cultural heritage sector to document a broader variety of knowledge and experiences. We also talk about how we can remind people that they are important, and motivate them to contribute with their own perspectives and stories.

Contribution to the "Who knows?" handbook

This conversation raises the topic of what knowledge is, and whose perspectives we risk missing in the future. Through history, who is considered subaltern might have shifted, but what we know is that what was documented for the future was often controlled by those in power.

Every person carries important knowledge about how it is to live, work, love, and act in today’s society. Historically, only few of these voices have been heard, saved, or told.

Stockholm Museum of Women’s History is also a partner in the SHAKIN’ project.


Additional Information

Location Sweden / Youtube
Original language(s) Swedish
Existing translations
Length 59 minutes
Project runtime -
Institution of affiliation Stockholms Kvinnohistoriska / Stockholm Museum of Women’s History
Black Archives Sweden
Sörmlands museum
Name of contributor: Anna Tascha Larsson, director at Stockholm Museum of Women’s History

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Creative Commons

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