Welcome to the Third World Archives Solidarity Project. We are a project of the UC San Diego Lumumba Zapata Collective and trace our existence to a long-standing tradition of Third World solidarity among academics who seek to make a better world.*
There are thousands of autonomously run archives located throughout the Global South, mostly run by local volunteers, political activists, and/or historical protagonists themselves. These spaces serve not only as repositories of historical memory, but also as spaces for political organizing and solidarity building. Due to their disassociation from the state (i.e. National Libraries, Judicial Archives, National Archives, etc), many of these spaces play a key role in the preservation of historical memory of US imperialism and resistance movements to it.
However, many of these archives are in dire need of physical repairs to the spaces in which they are located, which often experience water leaks, excessive humidity, and more. The goal of this project is to redirect resources from academics and academic institutions in the core of US Empire to autonomous archive spaces in the Global South. Many of us use these spaces in our own work, and we notably benefit from their accessibility in our own careers. Through material support, we challenge the unidirectional relationship that many academics have with archival spaces – we move away from being investigators and towards being collaborators.
How to solicit funds:
We are open to applications for funds from any academic or community member who has encountered an autonomous archive in need of repair located anywhere in the Global South (i.e. Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean). We will reach out to collaborators in an effort to raise up to $100 depending on what supporters can offer at the given moment.
Please send an email to email@example.com with the title SOLICITING FUNDS: (ENTER NAME OF ARCHIVE)
Please describe the archive and its conditions. Where is it located? What material does it host? What reparations are needed? How much do they cost? How does the archive align with broader goals of decolonization, anti-imperialism, global emancipation? Also, please tell us a bit about your own work and purpose for visiting this archive. Finally, what is your relationship with those who operate the space?
How to collaborate:
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title COLLABORATOR (ENTER YOUR NAME HERE) if you would like to be included on our mailing list as a potential contributor. We will send out periodic emails to solicit funds (ideally, $5 contributions) from collaborators on a case-by-case basis. Proposals will be sent to us, and we will send them out to the mailing list with a description of where to send the cash via paypal.
Archives with whom we have collaborated (as of August 2017):
*Biblioteca Popular José Ingenieros (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
*Centro de Cultura Social (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
*Biblioteca de la Federación Anarquista Uruguaya (Montevideo, Uruguay)
*Left projects throughout the Global South, such as OSPAAAL and “tercermundismo,” have used the term Third World to describe a shared condition and united opposition to capitalism and imperialism. Moreover, the first Ethnic Studies program in the United States was realized after a long fought campaign by the Third World Liberation Front at SF State University. We trace our use of the term to this legacy.