Why does How to Build an Archive Project exist? 

 Palestinian Troidah singing method, encripting words

How to Build Your Own Archive emerged out of the need to provide access for displaced, transnational, and immigrant families to feel empowered in (re)claiming, documenting, and sharing their own stories that have been erased. When I started building this project as part of the Decolonize, Divest, and Create course for the Useful School, I was mainly thinking about designing the templates to (selfishly) hold my own families history. However, after the Israeli Defense Military’s continuous genocide on Palestine*, the format shifted to address the current happening(s) because they cannot be ignored. I’m using the templates for the archive as an opportunity to share the vibrant, rich, and beautiful history of Palestinian artists, poets, families, and architects that have been collected from various archives.

In this reflection of creating co-liberated archival spaces, I wondered what the architecture of the archive would look like. Dimensions of Citizenship: Architecture and Belonging from the Body to the Cosmos has been shaping my thinking around building spaces of inclusion. The goal of this project is to uncover many stories that have been forgotten in order to imagine a more meaningful future for immigrants. By empowering families to document their histories, people claim their space by exercising citizenship through this (re)clamation of the internet as their own.

How to Build an Archive is a network and an ecosystem that allows for several entry points into the archive; diversifying the number of portals and serendipitous stumbling upon the archive. 

A diagram that illustrates the framework and current entry points into the archive. 

*Please excuse the brevity of the context that I am trying to give, it should not be mistaken for an oversimplification of the continuous colonization apartheid, torture, dehumanization, and murder that Palestinians have and continue to face by Israel (and the support it continues to receive from the United States). The brevity is for the ease of legibility, but I am happy to share more in depth information or have a conversation about this. Please email me, lets really chat about it!

Traditional olive pressing for virgin olive oil. 1920–1933
"A Just Peace for Palestinians", a Poster by the Lebanese Association for Information on Palestine, 1974
Elderly Woman Examines a Palestinian Thobe in al-Mazra'a ash-Sharqiya, Ramallah, 1988
"Land Day", a PLO Poster, 1977
The poet, Rajih al Salfeety, with his sister in Kuwait
"Rachel’s Tomb" Mandate Postage Stamp, 16 July 1942
Rima Nasir with Her Classmates and Cousin at Birzeit College, 1945
Al-Ahad School Students in Gaza
A traditional song entitled "Al-A'aly"
"Palestine", a PLO Poster, 1981
"Palestine: a Homeland Denied", a Poster by the Baghdad International Exhibition, 1979
A Man Moving Rubble After Bombing of El- Buss Refugee Camp
"The Palestinians Have Rights Too!", a Poster by the National Committee for the Year of Palestine, 1988
A Group of Women at a Feminist Convention
A Group of Boys at a Refugee Camp
"Solidarity", a Poster by the 11th World Festival of Youth and Students, 1977-1978
A Mother Holding a Photograph of her Killed Son
A Palestinian Family
"Carry On", a Poster by Salah Eddin Office, 1975

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