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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Herstory Belongs to Everybody or The Miracle: A Queer Mobile Memory Project

  • Author(s): Crooks, Roderic;
  • Contreras, Irina;
  • Besser, Kelly
  • et al.

The Miracle is an artistic and activist queer project begun in 2004. This article takes the form of a transcribed interview between the founders of the Miracle and a graduate student volunteer. The authors, all participants in The Miracle, describe the queer bookmobile/mobile archives project as an intervention that seeks to protest the loss of queer community spaces in Los Angeles and Oakland, to temporarily disrupt the progress of gentrification and its attendant displacement of poor and minoritized communities, and to “redistribute” knowledge, literature, and information. The purpose of the article is to describe the activity as a memory project centered in a particular community and to continue a conversation between minoritized community groups and the archival profession in the mode of X, Campbell and Stevens’ 2009 contribution to Archivaria, “Love and Lubrication in the Archives, or rukus!: A Black Queer Archive for the United Kingdom.” In our work and in this article, we recognize that certain aspects of our practice are incommensurable with archival theory and professional archival standards of description, preservation, or access, but argue that genuine community-based work cannot take place exclusively in the remove of official institutions. Our alternative model of redistribution aims to meet people in the city, in their places of work, and all manner of public and private spaces as a project of memory preservation and political protest.

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