All posts filed under: Uncategorized

Zine Digitization and Accessibility

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A potential benefit of digitizing zines is increasing their accessibility. While a physical copy of Mirha-Soleil Ross’ gendertrash from hell might be hard to come by for many people in 2017, putting a high quality scan of the zine online makes it accessible to anyone with an internet connection, right? Not really. Depending on the context, “access” can take on very different meanings. I think we should think critically about what it means to make […]

Some Thoughts on Michelle Mohabeer’s Child-Play (1997)

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TW: Description of a film that deals with child abuse Some Thoughts on Child-Play: a self indulgent rant by an over-eager cinema student We’ve been struggling to make our digital exhibition on SAVAC’s Not a Place on the Map Desh Pardesh oral history project more visual. The oral history interviews are riveting, but as an audience, it’d be hard to stay interested in around 36 hours of raw tapes. I was surprised and excited to […]

Touring SAVAC and Vtape

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And update from Amal Khurram, who is participating in the undergraduate Scholars in Residence Digital Collections lab in partnership with the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. Scholars in Residence group pose in the SAVAC / Vtape archives. (L to R) Mac Stewart, Amal Khurram, Caleigh Inman, Saj Soomal (SAVAC), Alisha Krishna, Zohar Freeman, Cait McKinney. On May 17 our group went to visit the 401 Richmond building for a tour of the South Asian Visual Arts […]

Affect in the Mirha-Soleil Ross Archive

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Archival objects can be powerful and moving. When they are centred around LGBTQ people, they can bring hope and joy. Some objects found  in the Mirha-Soleil Ross fonds demonstrates this hopefulness to me. In her collection Mirha-Soleil Ross donated some pictures that were professionally taken of her and her partner at the time, Xanthra Phillippa MacKay. When Ms. Ross donated the photos to the CLGA, she attached a note requesting that we digitize them soon, showing […]

Foolscap Oral Histories and Gay Bar Culture in Toronto and Mexico City

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For the past few weeks I have been reading transcripts of the interviews that John Grube conducted in the 1980s with Canadian gay men born in the first half of the twentieth century. One of the most interesting topics in the interviews is the experiences that these men had with the gay bar culture in Toronto during the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s. Going to bars or “beverage rooms” was instrumental in their coming out experience, […]

Foolscap: The Social Responsibility of Digitizing Erasure

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Listening to the Foolscap interviews, it seems impossible to have been in Toronto in the 1960s without realizing that the St Charles Tavern was a hotbed of gay activity. However, researching press coverage of the bar, it’s clear that this watering hole’s queerness was fairly hidden from most of the public in the 1960s. A brief review of Globe and Mail articles between the 1940s and 1960s rarely link homosexuality to the St. Charles Tavern. It’s […]

Desh Pardesh: Historicizing a new brown, queer artist scene in Toronto

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“Not a Place on the Map” is an oral history project initiated by the South Asian Visual Arts Center (SAVAC), concerning Desh Pardesh, the queer South Asian arts festival in the 90’s which ran roughly from 1988 to 2001. Interviews show that Desh provided a sense of community and gave a platform for marginalized artists. The Collaboratory, SAVAC, the CLGA, and the Jackman Scholars in Residence are working to exhibit these interviews in a digital […]

Desh Dies? Sifting through emotions in the Desh Pardesh collection

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Over the past couple weeks, my research partner, Alisha, and I have been working through a number of interviews conducted in 2014-2015 with various participants of the Desh Pardesh festival. We’ve been weaving through text-heavy transcripts, and even transcribing a few audio interviews, but in the past couple of days we’ve been finally able to come in contact with the real archives. Seeing material outside of reflection or storytelling is a completely different experience. The […]

Oral History Podcasting Workshops

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We are big fans of Morgan M. Page’s One From the Vaults trans history podcast, which brings out “all the dirt, gossip, and glamour from trans history.” Her work is a great example of how the podcast form can enliven public history, a project we are trying to emulate here at the Collaboratory. As part of our Scholars in Residence Digital Collections lab, we’re learning how to make radio documentaries using the oral history tapes we have been […]

New Lab Projects Update

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We’ve just updated our projects pages with details about the digital collections we are building right now as part of our intensive, four-week Digital Collections Lab for undergraduate students. The projects are: 1) The Mirha-Soleil Ross Archives 2) “Not a Place on the Map.” Digital Collection for Desh Pardesh Festival oral history project, partnership with the South Asian Visual Arts Centre 3) Foolscap Oral History Project We’ll be posting lots of updates on the lab […]