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Nora Akawi

Advisor: Felicity Scott

MS.CCCP 2011

darabZINE: AN EXPERIMENT IN PUBLIC CURATION

Abstract:
The construction of homogenous and coherent collective archives has always been essential for the formation of national and cultural identities, the establishment and maintenance of power and control, and the qualification and valorization of certain cultural and political narratives. Challenging the homogenous character of collective archives is thus an act of civil resistance towards self determination. Rather than stored in the monuments of power localizable in time and space, power and command in control societies float in the digital networks of data and code. The homogeneity of digital archives can never be fully guaranteed. Although digital networks are not intrinsically anarchistic, and media spaces for communication are largely privatized, no single person or group controls the network. The uncontrollable and unpredictable character of the network, as well as the immediate and horizontal distributive character of the Internet, offer unprecedented possibilities for public participatory archiving practices, and their accessibility to wide publics across the globe.

darabZINE (railing in arabic) is an online archiving platform that seeks to exploit the potentially subversive character of the network by experimenting with a participatory, public, and accessible process of curatorial, archival, and editorial practices. The project will result in an online archiving-social network, a blog to track its progress, and finally, a print edition of darabZINE. This potentially expansive network will make visible the work and stories of students, scholars, activists, and citizens on politics, architecture, art, human rights and media in Palestine, where, despite the emerging critical work in these fields, the spaces for aggregating it are limited.