Archives in Common: Migrant Practices/Knowledges/Memory is led by Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research Faculty Leader Ángeles Donoso Macaya (Borough of Manhattan Community College, Department of Modern Languages) an immigrant professor, researcher and organizer based in New York City. She is the author of The Insubordination of Photography: Documentary Practices under Chile’s Dictatorship (2020) and co-editor of Latina/os of the East Coast: A Critical Reader (2015).

Archives in Common: Migrant Practices/Knowledges/Memory brings together community organizers, members of immigrant communities, and members of the university community to 1) assist in the support and expansion of undocu-immigrant-led initiatives (cooperatives, workshops, and gardens) devised in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and 2) think collectively about how to build an archive of the commons during a crisis. The archive’s form, structure, and contents will emerge out of the collaborative process of thinking, working, creating, and sustaining life together. Click here or below to visit the Archives in Common website:



Events, Articles, Research & Scholarship:


Book Launch: Las hermanas de la milpa: comienza con la calabaza / The sisters of the milpa: it begins with the squash

Book Launch Celebration Sat, Nov 5, 2022, 02:00 PM – 04:00 PM
Bruckner Mott Haven Garden (678 E 136th St., Bronx, NY, 10454)

About this book launch

Archives in Common is thrilled to invite you to the launching of Las hermanas de la milpa: comienza con la calabaza / The sisters of the milpa: it begins with the squash, a bilingual and indigenous (Mixteco) cookbook by chef Natalia Mendez of La Morada restaurant.

Like other initiatives devised by La Morada, this book seeks to disseminate indigenous knowledges and practices, and at the same time to conceptualize and expand the ways of doing mutual aid. Chef Natalia shares eight Oaxacan recipes that use all the parts of the squash plant, in different stages; teaches us, readers, how to take care of the soil; and also gives tips to grow food at home!

The book is also, in and of itself, an art project: it includes illustrations by poet, artist and activist Marco Saavedra, photos by photographer Camila Falquez, and has been beautifully designed by Lucky Risograph.

In the words of Professor Ángeles Donoso Macaya, who assisted with the transcription, edition, and translation of the texts, Las hermanas de la milpa / The sisters of the milpa “is the embodied memory, in narrative form, of the chef of one of the most important mutual aid hubs that emerged during the pandemic in NYC (and perhaps the only one that still continues to operate as such), and an eloquent document of the ongoing struggle for food sovereignty led by migrant indigenous communities.”

When: Saturday, November 5, 2 pm – 4 pm

Where: Bruckner Mott Haven Garden

678 East 136th Street, Bronx 10454

Email [email protected] to RSVP



no + porque somos + Expanding Feminist Ways of Thinking-Feeling-Doing

Wed, Oct 19, 2022,

This event will take place in the Martin E. Segal Theatre at the CUNY Graduate Center. The event will be in Spanish with English interpretation.

Join us for "no + porque somos + Expanding Feminist Ways of Thinking-Feeling-Doing," a conversation with three prominent feminist activists, archivists, educators, artists, and thinkers, Lucía Egaña (Musea M.A.M.I., CENEX, Pluriversidad Nómada), Javiera Manzi (Coordinadora Feminista 8M; Red de Conceptualismos del Sur, Brigada Laura Rodig), and Sibila Sotomayor (LASTESIS), moderated by Professor Ángeles Donoso Macaya, as part of "expanding feminisms / feminismos en expansión" a week-long series of activities with these inspiring Chilean feminists inside and outside the brick walls of New York City’s public university, CUNY. This conversation will center the role of archival practices, collective memory work, and transnational/internationalist network formation within current feminist movements in Chile and beyond. The three guest speakers have participated in the collective creation of situated practices to synthetize feminist theories; disseminate feminist demands; educate around feminist ideas and issues; recover, make memory and archive ways of doing and knowing formulated by previous feminist collectives. Their work has also attempted to put forward different ways of relating to, and inhabiting, institutions—universities, museums, and political movements.

Click here for more info about this event.


Expanding Feminisims Series



This event is part of expanding feminisms / feminismos en expansión which brings together a series of activities inside and outside the brick walls of New York City’s public university, CUNY, for a week. The different events center distinct aspects of the activist, archival, and artist practices of three inspiring Chilean feminists, Lucía Egaña, Javiera Manzi, and Sibila Sotomayor (LASTESIS). This week-long event includes in-person conversations with CUNY students at BMCC and lectures and remote/online visits to classes; an in-person conversation between these three archivists, activists, and artists, open to the general public moderated by Professor Ángeles Donoso Macaya and hosted at the CUNY Graduate Center; a round table with GC postgraduate students and the guests, organized in collaboration with LAILAC and OpenLAB students; a memory and arts workshop at the Bruckner Mott Haven Community Garden, in The Bronx, facilitated by food educator, sou-chef of La Morada restaurant and Archives in Common collaborator chef Carolina Saavedra, with the participation of the three guests; a panel discussion on feminist books (co)written or (co)edited by the guest speakers, at Recirculation/A Word Up Project, a community bookstore and cultural space located Washington Heights; a performance workshop facilitated by Sibila Sotomayor and a workshop on collective creation/reflection lead by Lucía Egaña.



"Meet the Mellon Seminar Cohort: Ángeles Donoso Macaya"

Image description: Carolina, wearing an orange shirt, and patterned pants, and Ángeles, wearing a black leather jacket and blue jeans, stand in front of the participants of the Brewing Memories workshop (out of frame). Ángeles has a branch of lavender in her hands; Carolina is speaking using a microphone. Both wear face masks. In the back, a paper kraft board shows a list of words in English and Spanish that Carolina uses as part of the activity (for instance––tierra/earth; memoria/memory, recalling; lengua materna/mother tongue). The table showcases the different plants participants will learn about during the workshop, and jars of honey. There is also a crate with apples, a box with pan de muerto participants will share at the end, and a speaker. Photo by Cinthya Santos-Briones for Brewing Memories workshop, October 24, 2020.

In this interview, Ángeles Donoso Macaya and Queenie Sukhadia discuss questions and concerns arising from Ángeles's project Archives in Common, including how to share "knowledges, experiences, and memories [of immigrant communities] in a way that is non-extractive, where these knowledges, experiences, and memories don’t then become data," the relationship of these forms of sharing to mutual aid, and imperatives to transform both the university and practices of academic work. Click here to read the full interview.

The Undocumented-Led Struggle for Freedom: A Conversation with the Authors of Eclipse of Dreams (Wednesday, October 14th, 2020)



Watch the video recording of the event here:


Join us Wednesday, October 14th for The Undocumented-Led Struggle for Freedom, a conversation with 4 of the 6 authors Marco Saavedra, Claudia Muñoz, Mariela Nuñez-Janes, and Stephen Pavey of Eclipse of Dreams, a timely book which recounts, via self–authored testimonial narratives and collective storytelling, the journey of six activists who met “somewhere in between classrooms, academic conferences, and organizing for the DREAM Act.” Their paths crossed in 2010, the year when the Senate failed to pass the DREAM Act. For this heterogeneous group comprised of undocumented youth activists and activist-scholars, the notorious failure of the DREAM Act revealed the paradoxical position of immigrants in their struggle for “inclusion.” As they poignantly ask in the Introduction: “What if our dreams, the very scope of our horizons, what we hoped for ourselves and others, was limited by the framework in which we expressed them, the American Dream itself?"

This event will be ASL interpreted.

Civil disobedience and Presente vigil led by SOA Watch (Nogales, AZ, November 2018), from the book Eclipse of Dreams


Read Ángeles Donoso Macaya's own words on the importance of her project Archives in Common: Migrant Practices/Knowledges/Memory two inaugural events "The Undocumented-Led Struggle for Freedom," a conversation with authors of Eclipse of Dreams, and “Brewing Memories,” an outdoors community workshop about medicinal plants, food justice, and indigenous food traditions:

"As Faculty Seminar Leader of Archives in Common, for me it is extremely significant to launch the project with this collective conversation. In both theory and practice, Archives in Common refuses the divisions created by institutions of higher education as colonial and imperial projects—above all, the position of the 'expert' and the notion that 'He' is authorized to produce and disseminate knowledge about determined 'subjects.' Moreover, the events and activities organized as part of the Archives in Common project seek to challenge the operations and framings deployed by 'the Archive,' also understood here as a colonial and imperial operation that produces 'knowledge' about certain individuals—in this particular case, immigrants and immigrant communities. Not only the authors of Eclipse of Dreams directly address some of the central issues I want to explore, learn more about, and discuss with the participants of the Archives in Common project, but also the book in and of itself can be seen as an 'archive' created 'in common:' through personal narratives, photographs, and quotes. Eclipse of Dreams offers counter-framings of immigrant and undocumented-led organizing, reflects critically about the struggle for racial and immigration liberation, formulates a collaborative methodology based on witnessing and accompanying, and, more importantly, weaves immigrant activists’ memories as a collective memory—this memory, active and dynamic, can help to activate others in joining the struggle for real liberation, justice, and dignity." -Ángeles Donoso Macaya



Direct action and civil disobedience blocking bus of undocumented immigrants headed to a nearby airport for deportation, (Chicago, IL, November 2013), from the book Eclipse of Dreams




Sat, October 3rd, 2020, 11:00 AM: Brewing Memories: A Free Workshop to Learn About Medicinal Herbs with La Morada Chef Carolina Saavedra



As part of the Archives in Common project, chef Carolina Saavedra will facilitate workshops, starting with "Brewing Memories," centered on food traditions, food justice, and urban farming.

This series will begin with an outdoor workshop on medicinal herbs at Brooke Park, a community garden in the South Bronx where Carolina grows many of the delicious chiles and herbs she and her mom, Natalia Mendez, use in their traditional recipes at La Morada restaurant. The workshop is called “Brewing Memories" because Carolina will invite us to “draw” a memory using herbs and honey, which we will then brew into our own tea! In this hands-on workshop, we will not only learn about different herbs we can easily grow at home (and perhaps use to brew more tea), but also about different knowledges and traditions linked to medicinal herbs.

Chef Carolina Saavedra of La Morada restaurant


Carolina Saavedra
is an educator at Stone Barns Center, a nonprofit organization working to bring about a healthy and sustainable food system. She is also the sous chef at La Morada restaurant, where the Saavedra family fights to ensure equality and social justice and to preserve their indigenous roots within the community of the South Bronx.

Click here for more information about this event, Carolina, and more.

View photos from the Brewing Memories workshop held on Saturday, October 3rd, at Brooke Park, facilitated by La Morada chef Carolina Saavedra. Photos by Cinthya Santoa-Briones.


La Morada co-owner Natalia Saavedra, talking about the importance of building community and memories through food and culinary traditions, and about the significance of centering healing in community during these times. Brewing Memories workshop, Saturday, October 3, at Brooke Park. Photo by Cinthya Santos-Briones.




Brewing Memories workshop held on Saturday, October 3, at Brooke Park. Photo by Cinthya Santos-Briones.




Professor Ángeles Donoso Macaya, chef Carolina Saavedra and chef Natalia Mendez at the Brewing Memories workshop held on Saturday, October 3, at Brooke Park. Photo by Cinthya Santos-Briones.



Brewing Memories workshop held on Saturday, October 3, at Brooke Park. Photo by Cinthya Santos-Briones.



Brewing Memories workshop held on Saturday, October 3, at Brooke Park. Photo by Cinthya Santos-Briones.



Brewing Memories workshop held on Saturday, October 3, at Brooke Park. Photo by Cinthya Santos-Briones.


Marco Saavedra, Antonio Saavedra and Natalia Mendez setting the fire to boil water. Brewing Memories workshop, Saturday, October 3, at Brooke Park. Photo by Cinthya Santos-Briones.


Brewing Memories workshop held on Saturday, October 3, at Brooke Park. Photo by Cinthya Santos-Briones.


"Brewing memories, sustaining life in common"

Read Archives in Common project leader Ángeles Donoso Macaya's essay "Brewing memories, sustaining life in common", reflecting on the Brewing Memories workshops and it's origins and the significance and impact of this collaborative and generative process of creating and learning together.



A Review of Netfilx's "Immigration Nation" by Ángeles Donoso Macaya

A protest against ICE and deportation raids in Chicago, Illinois in 2019 (Photo: Charles Edward Miller/Flickr)


What's wrong about Netflix's Immigrant Nation? Plenty! Read Ángeles Donoso Macaya's critique which takes it apart and rebuts it point by point arguing the Netflix documentary adopts the dangerous viewpoint of ICE agents, portraying immigration raids and deportation proceedings as banal, bureaucratic procedures.

"The documentary shows us time and again the opinions and views of ICE officers. But this close view is not offered of the communities and activists resisting the racist practices of the state," and "According the point of view that the series reproduces, migrants are never the agents of their own destiny," writes Ángeles Donoso Macaya.

Read the review here on The North American Congress on Latin America report.

More About Ángeles Donoso Macaya

Photo by Paz Errazuriz.

Ángeles Donoso Macaya is an immigrant professor, researcher and organizer based in New York City. She is Associate Professor of Spanish at BMCC/CUNY. Her research centers on Latin American photography theory and history, counter-archival production, human rights activism, and feminisms. She is the author of The Insubordination of Photography: Documentary Practices under Chile’s Dictatorship (2020), co-editor of Latina/os of the East Coast: A Critical Reader (2015). Ángeles has been involved in sanctuary work in NYC since 2017 and is also member of colectiva somoslacélula, which creates video-essays about pressing political issues.

Participants

Seminar Faculty Leader

Images

The walls of La Morada restaurant are filled with photos depicting actions and paintings by Marco Saavedra, an immigration rights activist who helps run La Morada with his family. This photo centers a few of these images and a big banner that says "NO Deportaciones / NO Deportations".