DIYCA Stream: Do It Yourself and Community Archiving

Posted on July 25, 2016

As part of the 2016 program, the conference offered four curated streams of programming.  The streams are indicated in the program.


DIYCA:  Do It Yourself and Community Archiving.   Materials coming from the independent media community, and archivists who support that community often work against major hurdles. Answering those challenges often result in low-cost, do-it-yourself and open source solutions for archiving moving images.

This stream investigates these solutions and methodologies for archiving independent, activist and community archives.

Goals of the stream:

  1. To advocate for DIY and Community Archiving as part of a professional tract (in the same way volunteerism and public engagement is expected of librarians and doctors.)
  2. To connect professionals and the general public the through workshops and skillshares
  3. To reveal underserved collections through screenings and sessions
  4. To explore the implications of working with emotionally-charged collections.
  5. To help archivists manage underserved collections and self-determine their technological and infrastructural needs.


Friday November 11




Friday, November 11 |  9:30am
DIY&CA: Building Regional AV Preservation Coalitions Using the Community Archiving Model


  • Mona Jimenez, NYU Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program


  • Yvonne Ng, Witness
  • Marie Lascu, XFR Collective
  • Kelli Hix, Smithsonian Institution
  • Sandra Yates, McGovern Historical Center, Texas Medical Library

The Community Archiving Workshop (CAW) model is growing. Now going into its 7th year, the CAW Organizing Committee proposes to establish regional coalitions, which will serve as anchors for local AV preservation efforts. The CAW proposes to meet increasing demand with the establishment of a Training of Trainers curriculum that can be disseminated widely in partnership with regional archives and organizations. Next steps for the CAW include the development of a Training of Trainers curriculum, an enhanced Organizer’s Toolkit and support to strengthen regional networks for AV preservation. In this session we will solicit feedback and suggestions from AMIA members who have participated in past workshops and/ or who are interested in delivering workshops in their own regional communities. Documentation and data collected from this day will play an essential role to the further development of the CAW model and subsequent toolkit and training.

Friday, November 11 |  11:00am  DIY&CA: Real Talk: Archiving Independent Media and Community Collections


  • Molly Fair


  • Kelly Haydon, Bay Area Video Coalition
  • Keith Wilson , People’s Archive of Police Violence
  • Carol Steiner, People’s Archive of Police Violence
  • Caroline Gil, Independent Archivist
  • Skyla Hearn , DuSable Museum of African American History

Accepted standards and best practices for audiovisual archiving usually emerge from institutional contexts (e.g. libraries, universities, professional organizations), and are not always applicable or sufficient when working with community-based groups or alternative media-makers. How do archivists working in traditional institutions foster more reciprocal and collaborative relationships with communities to preserve their histories? What are the affective, emotional, or other social dynamics involved with archiving documentation of police violence? What are some lessons learned from participatory approaches to archiving the work of independent artists and the collections of grassroots media distributors? This panel will examine the particular challenges of working in these contexts, and the practices that emerge from them.


Friday, November 11 |  2:00pm
DIY&CA: :  Documenting A Changing Pittsburgh: East of Liberty Films and the Impact of Gentrification


  • Robin Margolis, UCLA


  • Chris Ivey , East of Liberty film Series and Hypeboy Media

This session will feature director Chris Ivey speaking and sharing clips from his ongoing documentary project East of Liberty. Entering its fourth installment, the East of Liberty series explores the hopes and fears of community members in a neighborhood experiencing rapid redevelopment, aiming to “create a historical record that captures the essence of community change and exposes taboos in frank conversation-from displacement to neighborhood violence to discussions of race and class.” Ivey will speak to the challenges of working responsibly with community members to portray a changing neighborhood, as well as share segments from previous films and a preview of the newest chapter, Youth Rising. He will be joined by East Liberty residents connected to the films.


Friday, November 11 |  3:30pm
DIY&CA: Tech in Community, Community in Tech: Digital Collections in the Real World


  • Lauren Sorensen, UCLA


  • Rachel Mattson , La MaMa Archives
  • Nicole Martin, Human Rights Watch
  • Dinah Handel, New York Public Library
  • Kristin Lipska, California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP)

From receiving digitized video files back from vendors, to bash shell scripting, archivists are frequently finding themselves as the technology leads of their underfunded departments, or newly managing contractors for technology projects. This session will introduce some software programs that archivists have used to make their lives easier, and discuss strategies for taking the fear out of technology in the archives. Panelists will introduce a handful of tools and scripts that help facilitate different areas of a digital collections’ lifecycle, as well as discussing workplace matters and experiences in the field.


Friday, November 11 |  4:45pm
DIY&CA: : Think-For-Yourself, Do-It-Yourself: Revealing Independent Media from Behind the Iron Curtain


  • Allie Whalen

political and social unrest for free expression, communication, and survival of marginalized voices. Between 1950 and 1990, political suppression paradoxically sparked creative action across the underground arts scene of Eastern Europe from secret concerts, actions, and happenings to self-published zines and media. This presentation explores salvaged collections hidden behind the Iron Curtain, how artists became accidental archivists, and where collections once concealed in basements or confiscated by secret police have ended up today and how they are being preserved. Case studies describe the methodologies of archives throughout Europe where independent and community archiving actions are taking place despite limited environments to safeguard these collections, and how prominent figures from the underground scene are active in archiving. This presentation stems from on-site research for my 2015 MIAP thesis “I Will Counterrevolution / I Will Stop All The Motion: Archiving Exile, Samizdat, and Underground Audio from the Eastern Bloc”.


Friday, November 11 |  6:15pm   |  Point Park University | GRW Theatre
DIY&CA:  Evening Screening: Filmmaking as Community Activism


  • Amy Sloper, Wisconsin Center for FIlm & Theater Research


  • Tony Buba

This program will present a screening of LIGHTNING OVER BRADDOCK: A RUSTBOWL FANTASY (1988, 80 mins) followed by a discussion with Tony Buba, an independent filmmaker who uses documentary as a form of community activism in the Pittsburgh area. As president of Braddock Films, Tony Buba has been producing documentaries since 1972 in both long and short formats. In addition to producing personal work, Braddock Films has been involved in producing award-winning documentaries in the Pittsburgh area. He has focused his energies on the crumbling landscape of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a once-thriving steel town, whose people and environments have been directly affected by the age of post-industrial decline.