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CU’s 2019 Archive Transformed Begins Sunday

2019 Archive Transformed
A CU Boulder Artist/Scholar Collaborative Residency Sunday, May 19 – Thursday, May 23, 2019

The University of Colorado’s Department of Religious Studies, CU Libraries and Archives, CU Art Museum, Center for Humanities and the Arts (CHA), Center for Western Civilization, Thought, and Policy (CWCTP), along with the Louis P. Singer Fund for Jewish History and several departments is proud to announce the 2019 Archive Transformed Cohort. The cohort will spend five days in May at Chautauqua in Boulder and will present the results of their residency at the Canyon Theater, Boulder Public Library.

The week will open with a performance of Yonatan Malin and Alicia Svigals’ The Beregovski Archive, incubated in the inaugural 2018 Archive Transformed cohort.

The Beregovski Archive
Sunday, May 19, 2019, 7:00 pm
with Alicia Svigals, Dr. Yonatan Malin, and Uli Geissendorfer
Music Theatre, Imig Music Building, University of Colorado Boulder

The Archive Transformed, 2019
Thursday, May 23, 2019, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Canyon Theater, Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder CO

The 2019 Archive Transformed Cohort will present the following collaborative projects:

Body of Language: Transforming the Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry

This project joins together a scholar of Yiddish culture, Rob Adler Peckerar, who researches Jewish material culture in the pre-World War Two period, and choreographer and performer Alexx Shilling, whose work prioritizes the body as a primary research site.

Together the two will delve into the Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry (LCAAJ). They will create a work of art that re-embodies the lives of the speakers recorded over thousands of hours of interviews in a project that originally set out to preserve the sounds of a living Yiddish language. The goal is the creation of a multidisciplinary dance performance that explores the lived, corporeal experience of the informants of the LCAAJ, giving unique access to their everyday lives before the devastation of the Nazi genocide and after decades of displacement, emigration, and assimilation.

Marking Space for Los Seis de Boulder

CU Boulder graduate students Gladys Preciado (Art History) and Jasmine Baetz (Ceramics) are both women of color who are concerned about the politics of representation on the CU Boulder campus.

This collaboration is part of a larger project that surrounds a public art sculpture to commemorate the activism of the Chicano Student Movement, during which Los Seis, as they became known, were killed in two separate and unexplained car bombs on May 27 and 29, 1974. These traumatic events happened on two sites that bookend the CU Boulder campus: Chautauqua Park, and 28th Street and Canyon Boulevard.

Resting between them is Temporary Building 1, the building these students were occupying with fellow activists in demand for continued growth and autonomy of Educational Opportunity Programs at CU Boulder. To complement and extend the physical monument of the Temporary Building 1 sculpture, we will create a projected image piece that sources, re-sources, frames, and re-frames the traditional and expansive archives around these six students: Una Jaakola, Reyes Martínez, Neva Romero, Francisco Dougherty, Florencio Granado, and Heriberto Terán.

Art for the Future: Building Transnational Activism Through the Archive

This project joins together Erina Duganne, an art historian, and Muriel Hasbun, a photo based and socially engaged artist and educator. “Art for the Future: Building Transnational Activism Through the Archive” puts the archive of the 1984 U.S. activist organization, Artists Call Against US Intervention in Central America, in dialogue with the archive of Galería el laberinto (1977-2001) in El Salvador so as to discover overlooked connections and hidden congruences, both visual as well as historical.


Galería el laberinto, Avenida Olímpica no. 3341, San Salvador, El Salvador, 1980s, courtesy Muriel Hasbun + Laberinto Projects archive.

Although Artists Call and Galería el laberinto were contemporaries, their founders and participants were mutually unaware of each other. In so doing, this transnational collaboration will not only bring these forgotten archives to light but also foster much needed conversations about visual alliances and solidarities between these two countries. Given today’s polarized political climate and dehumanizing rhetoric against Central Americans, such transnational dialogue is necessary more than ever, promising a more hopeful and restorative future.

The Bais Yaakov Project

In 1917, a dressmaker with an eighth-grade education named Sarah Schenirer opened a girls’ school in her studio, hoping to stem the tide of Orthodox girls who were abandoning tradition in droves through the force of her own religious passion.

Within a few years, the Bais Yaakov system had grown to dozens of schools, founded, directed and led by her adolescent students. The Bais Yaakov Project aims to mine the archives of interwar Bais Yaakov and make this history available to the public through a dedicated website, www.thebaisyaakovproject.com.

It also aims to revive the musical repertoire of the movement at its interwar height, arranging and performing songs and anthems hitherto hidden in archives across three continents. The Bais Yaakov Project represents the work of three Bais Yaakov graduates, of different generations: Naomi Seidman, a professor in the Department for the Study of Religion and the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto, Basya Schechter, a musician and composer who has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, and Dainy Bernstein, a graduate student studying Orthodox children’s literature and the Digital Content and Web Designer for the project.

QueeringReminiscences: Queer Pasts in Finnish Reminiscence Writings and Oral Tradition Archives

In this project, a dramaturge (Emil Uuttu, MA) and a historian (Riikka Taavetti, PhD) together with a sound designer (Tatu Nenonen, MA) will work in forming a radio play that addresses the knowledge production of queer lives.

They will creatively combine archival research with artistic engagement of queering the archives, both their content and archival practices. The radio play will combine found audio, documentary audio recordings, and scripted radio play scenes.

The radio play will premier late spring 2020. The project utilizes the vast collections of Finnish reminiscence writings, life stories, and oral traditions. The Finnish traditions of gathering folklore and popular tradition date back to the 19th century, and personal reminiscences and life stories have been gathered by open calls for writing since the 1960s.

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