Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT) presented a Freedom Talk at Archives and Resistance livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network on Friday 18 November 2022 at 8:30 a.m. EST (New York, UTC -5) / 13:30 GMT (London, UTC +0) / 2:30 p.m. CET (Stockholm, UTC +1).
Following a series of conversations focusing on the situation of artistic freedom in various countries this year, Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT) presents a panel titled “How Archives and Archival Interventions Can Challenge Power.” This event offers a discussion, including visual presentations of speaker artists between three creatives.
Moderated by an archivist and an arts curator Yvette Ramirez (United States/Bolivia), this Freedom Talk features artists and archivists Lesia Pcholka (Belarus) and Lia Dostlieva (Ukraine). While typically thought of at the national and institutional level, archives can also be personal, hyperlocal, and ephemeral sites of memory created and experienced through our day-to-day existence. This event will engage in conversations of how archival interventions, by choice or necessity, can offer pathways for reflection, the preservation of local histories, and space for subversive resistance to the official record.
About Freedom Talks
The Freedom Talks series is focused on issues regarding threats towards artistic freedom, free press, and intangible heritage. It is closely connected to the annual global Safe Havens conference. Guests in the Freedom Talks series are highly knowledgeable and prolific actors in the global Arts Rights Justice sector–fighting for artistic freedom. The Freedom Talks aim to share space and broaden the narrative of who can take center stage by lending the brand to different organizations within the sector. The talks are presented in, or translated into, English. The talks can be watched through our website and through our partner HowlRound Theatre Commons, where previous events are archived.
The Participants at Archives and Resistance
Lesia Pcholka is an artist, archivist and activist. Her work explores everyday life and memory and is research-based as well as para-disciplinary. She earned her degree in Social Psychology from the Minsk Innovation University and attended international educational programs, including ArtPlatform, the East-European School of Political Studies, Sputnik Photos, and others. In 2017, she founded a VEHA archive—a self-organized initiative that unites participants to study and preserve the cultural heritage, archival photography, and visual history of Belarus. From 2018 to 2020, Lesia was a member of the Belarusian Association of Photographers. In 2020-2021, Lesia taught an author’s course at the European College for Liberal Arts in Belarus. Following the 2020 popular protests in Belarus, Lesia was prosecuted on political grounds and imprisoned; subsequently, she was forced to flee from Belarus.
Lia Dostlieva is an artist, cultural anthropologist, and essayist. Primary areas of Lia’s research include the issues of collective trauma, postmemory, commemorative practices, and agency and visibility of vulnerable groups. As an artist, Lia works across a wide range of media including photography, installations, textile sculptures, etc. since 2012.
Yvette Ramirez is an archivist, researcher and arts administrator based in Detroit, Michigan. She is inspired by the power of community-centered archives to further explore the complexities of information transmission and memory within diasporic Andean and Indigenous Latinx communities. As an independent archivist, Yvette has collaborated with the Tishman Environment and Design Center at the New School, Myriad, DanceATL, the Digital Preservation Unit at The University of Michigan Library, and Greenthumb NYC. Currently, Yvette is a PhD student at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, where she also received her Master’s in Information Science. She is also a Publications Board member at the Society of American Archivists as well as co-founding member of the collective Archivistas en Espanglish.
The event is organized by the independent international nonprofit Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT) through collaborations within the global Arts Rights Justice sector, and Safemuse graciously supports as its mentoring organization in the start-up period. SH|FT is supported by The Swedish Arts Council under the Programme for Artistic Freedom, funded by Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the Freedom Talks are sponsored by the Swedish Institute. The exhibition and platform project is funded by the Swedish Postcode Foundation.