Image: Meeting room at MayDay Rooms. Courtesy of Johnny Chang

Moving through the Archive
Participants: Johnny Chang & MayDay Rooms
A look into critical archiving and organizing access.

Activation: 8 June 2023, 5-8 pm at Hägerstensåsens Medborgarhus (Stockholm)

Welcome to an evening of thinking together on the possibilities of organizing archives and libraries from multiple perspectives. This program examines how different forms of gathering, especially from and for movements as well as marginalized communities generate various forms of agency, resistance, and collective un/learning processes. What are the various approaches, possibilities, and limitations of these practices?                                  

Moving through the Archive invites Johnny Chang and MayDay Rooms to discuss how knowledge can be collected from informal, critical, dissident perspectives. Through a lecture performance by Johnny Chang, and a public presentation by MayDay Rooms, we invite the public to reflect on the possibilities and limitations of collective, interdependent forms of gathering.

Elof Hellström will moderate an open conversation after the presentations.

Johnny Chang is a Taiwanese-American multidisciplinary designer and artist based in Stockholm. Moving between visual communication, writing, and artistic inquiry, his practice is concerned with circumstances of distance and diaspora, the politics of voice and listening, and processes of sense-making. His work inquires into conditions and entanglements of contemporary everyday life toward cultivating resilient capacities for sensing, feeling, and being in the present. His current residency research with Grafikens Hus is engaged with differently situated archives and libraries to investigate aesthetics of gathering, and terms and methods of access from urgent perspectives.

MayDay Rooms aims to safeguard histories and documents of radicalism and resistance by connecting them with contemporary struggle and protest, and by developing new free forms of dissemination and collective self-education. Our building contains an archive of historical material linked to radical history. Alongside our material archives, we create and maintain digital archives and databases of these histories, with the hope that these traces of the past might freely be taken up and put to use in present struggles. As well as housing an archive, our building functions as an organizing space for activists, social movements, troublemakers and radicals. We also run a full programme of events including film screenings, poetry readings, archiving workshops, historical talks, discussions, reading groups and social nights.

Elof Hellström's work addresses issues of socio-political injustice in the contemporary city. He has initiated and is a member of various art collectives and self-organized initiatives such as the cultural house Cyklopen in Stockholm. Elof is one of the artistic directors at Hägerstensåsens Medborgarhus.

This program is a collaboration between Collecting Thoughts/Grafikens Hus, A Movement to Hold and Hägerstensåsens Medborgarhus. Curated by Macarena Dusant and Alba Folgado. 

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