This article probes a set of problems in the theory and practice of the postcolonial archive that has emerged as the author and her Indigenous and non-Indigenous colleagues have struggled to create a new media archive in rural northwest Australia. This archive does not as yet exist. If it existed as it is currently conceived, it would organize mixed (augmented) reality media on the basis of social media and operate it on smart phones. The smart phones would contain a small segment of the archive, which would be geotagged so that it could not run unless the phone was proximate to the site to which the information referred. This article argues that if “archive” is the name we give to the power to make and command what took place here or there, in this or that place, and thus what has an authoritative place in the contemporary organization of social life, the postcolonial new media archive cannot be merely a collection of digital artifacts reflecting a different, subjugated history. Instead, the postcolonial archive must directly address the problem of the endurance of the otherwise within—or distinct from—this form of power.
Research Article|May 01 2011
Elizabeth A. Povinelli; The Woman on the Other Side of the Wall: Archiving the Otherwise in Postcolonial Digital Archives. differences 1 May 2011; 22 (1): 146–171. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10407391-1218274
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