Are you or your family an immigrant to Canada? Are you interested in being a part of a growing archive of community history? Do you have family photos you would like to digitize? Please consider taking part in The Making of an Archive, a project initiated by artist Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn and presented by grunt gallery (Vancouver) and Gendai Gallery (Toronto).
We are inviting contribution of photographs (slides or prints) of your family’s experience of immigration in Canada. We are most interested in personal collections – those images that taken within families and communities by friends/relatives with personal connections to the subjects.
The archives at grunt gallery are equipped with digitization and storage capabilities, and we are inviting members of the public (you!) to bring photographs (prints, 35mm, Polaroids, slides or negatives) We give you a digital copy of the images and store a copy in The Making of an Archive collection. The originals are returned to you.
What will happen to my images?
Jacqueline is keeping a repository of this growing archive, and grunt will be maintaining a back up of any images collected via our onsite sessions. The images may at some point be featured online or in print – but only with your written permission.
Some questions that might help:
What images, for you, show how your family + community supported one another?
(This is a very open question – many collections include bbqs, social gatherings, birthday parties, special dinners and so on; all this is relevant!)
Do you have images that show your family engaging publicly with events/ organizing/ volunteering?
(We have gathered some amazing images of people at community meetings, cultural festivals, marches and protests – this is the kind of thing that is really lacking in official archives.)
Are there images outside the scope of the archives?
Studio photography in its stale fashion (think of Sears portrait photography!) is not so much relevant to us. We are interested in life with its struggles, joys, friendships, strangeness and hope.
How many images can I bring?
We will digitize collections from 1 – 100 images (that’s 1 – 2 photo books, generally).
What time commitment is required?
Up to 2 hours, depending on the size of your collection. We collect the images beforehand, digitize them, and then invite you to sit with our volunteers for a short interview while we review the material – where you describe to us what is happening in the images. We record and keep this oral account of the images as part of the archive.
Where can I learn more?
Via grunt’s website: https://grunt.ca/the-making-of-an-archive/
Via the Making of an Archive Website: https://www.themakingofanarchive.com/ (currently under construction)
Image courtesy Tatsuo Kage