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Working with "women only"- gendered protocols in the digitisation and archiving process.

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Title:Working with "women only"- gendered protocols in the digitisation and archiving process.
Authors:Booker, Lauren
Kell, Jodie
Contributors:Booker, Lauren (speaker)
Kell, Jodie (speaker)
Date Issued:03 Mar 2017
Description:This paper provides a gendered perspective on the development of digitisation processes in archives that have the potential to re-orientate the relationship with endangered language communities. Archives hold traditional knowledge systems and languages that encode cultural practices of huge importance to current Australian Indigenous language revitalisation projects. Online services can decentralise archived resources reopening them to be used by relevant Indigenous parties. Indigenous women have often been marginalised and excluded, due to culturally inappropriate practices of collection, storage and access under the visible control of the men who historically presented and managed the technical aspects of archives. There are few women who operate as audio engineers and the control of the digitisation and sound production process is still largely in the hands of men. As women working in an archive (as a data manager and audio engineer) we ask what this gender imbalance means for the development of culturally appropriate practices once Indigenous cultural material enters the digitisation process and how to break down the perceived gendering of technical archival practices. This paper draws on the experience of an Australian archiving service involved in a partnership with an Australian Aboriginal organisation to digitise resources held by the organisation and facilitate the return of these resources to the originating communities. As part of the partnership tapes of women’s ceremonies from central Australia have been digitised using the skills of a female audio engineer and women based in the community have provided guidance on how to manage the resources, both locally and in the archive. It became apparent that utilising a female chain of linguist, anthropologist, musicologist, data managers and an audio engineer has created a process that is safe and culturally appropriate for the women of the community. This creates a participatory loop where women feel empowered to make choices knowing that their cultural property is being handled with respect and in a culturally appropriate manner. References Barwick, L. 2004, “Turning it all upside down . . . Imagining a distributed digital audiovisual archive.” Literary and Linguistic Computing, 19(3), 253-263. Faulkhead, S., Iacovino, L., McKemmish, S. & Thorpe, K. 2010, "Australian Indigenous knowledge and the archives: embracing multiple ways of knowing and keeping", Archives and Manuscripts, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 27-50.
Appears in Collections: 5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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