Currently viewing the tag: "T-Kay Sangwand"

Moderator: Gayle A. Williams, Florida International University
Rapporteur: Jade Kara Mishler, Tulane University

Presenters:
T-Kay Sangwand, University of Texas at Austin
A procura da batida perfeita: The Art of (Collecting) Brazilian Hip Hop

Suzanne M. Schadl & Viviane Ferreira de Faria, University of New Mexico
Borderlands Reinvented and Revisited: Third Space Intersections of Portuguese Language Literature in Print and Image

Sócrates Silva, University of California, Santa Barbara
Samba, choro, baião: Documenting Early Brazilian Sound Recordings at the UCSB Library

Donald M. Vorp, Princeton Theological Seminary Library
Studying Brazilian Christianity in Princeton

T-Kay Sangwand presented on collecting Brazilian hip hop at the University of Texas.  She spoke about the historical trajectory of hip hop and identified trends and gaps in the scholarly conversation. T-Kay explained different ways in which she has obtained Brazilian hip hop materials for the library.  She has had success working with vendors.  LC Rio had been particularly amenable to acquiring a subscription to “Rap Nacional,” a key Brazilian hip hop journal.  Through acquisitions trips T-Kay was able to attend hip hop shows, buy directly from artists and access the underground hip hop scene.  T-Kay has worked directly with graduate students and faculty to identify materials of interest.  Lastly, T-Kay recognized potential challenges that collecting hip hop presents.   She spoke about audiovisual material being published on the internet through blogs, websites, and youtube, as well as important hip hop groups that function primarily on Facebook.  She asked, “How can the library capture these types of material and provide access to them?”

Suzanne M. Schadl and Viviane Ferreira de Faria presented on two art exhibitions they curated: “AfroBrasil: Art and Identities” in August 2015 and “Borderlands Reinvented and Revisited: Portuguese Language and Literature in Print and Image” in fall 2015.  Viviane explained that they designed the exhibitions with the following users in mind: the academic community, library users, the local community and the international community.  Both exhibits were comprised of library collections, including special collections, canonical texts, cordeis, cartoneras, graphic novels, and films. They creatively used the space. Local musicians were invited to the opening reception of the “Borderlands” exhibit.  The “AfroBrasil” exhibit included Candomblé altars.

Sócrates Silva presented on two current initiatives at the UCSB Library to document music production.  The first, Discography of American Historical Recordings (DAHR), is a database that documents the output of American record companies during the 78rpm era.  DAHR includes more than 100,000 master recordings (matrixes).  There are 467 Brazilian Victor recordings in the database that were added from secondary sources.   In 2012 the USCB Library received a $239,600 grant in order to Catalog 18,000 78s from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, France, Mexico, Peru, Portugal and Spain from the 1900s-1960s (the bulk of them are from 1900s-1940s).

Donald M. Vorp presented on the Princeton Theological Seminary Library and their collections. The Seminary Library houses more than a million items and is considered one of the premier theological research centers. In the 1970’s Latin American and Iberian materials started being collected at the Seminary Library.  There are now more than 25,000 volumes in Spanish and Portuguese and 1,300 current and historical periodicals from Latin American and the Iberian Peninsula. Donald explained that the Seminary Library has numerous collections of interest for the study of Brazilian Christianity/Christianities.  Of Special note are the microfilm collections, such as the Iglesia en Brasil collection.  The library also has relevant journals, such as “Estudos Biblicos,” “Revista de Interpretação Biblica Latino-Americana,” and “Estudos de Religião.”  Some Brazilian theologians are active participants in the Global Network for Public Theology that was founded at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton in 2007.  The Global Network is associated with the “International Journal of Public Theology,” which devoted a special issue in 2012 to “Public Theology in Brazil”.

Jade Mishler asked Suzanne M. Schadl and Viviane Ferreira de Faria if putting together scholarly and popular resources and working with the public at large was an idea born in the library or if it was directly related to a larger university mission.   Viviane said that these ideas were generated out of the library.   They wanted to make the special collections more accessible, visible and to integrate them.  Suzanne said it came out of trying to challenge a healthy collection budget with materials that are primary in scope, and could be utilized by students, community members, graduate students and faculty members.   She said that there is an ongoing administrative-level and faculty level conversation at UNM about community engagement.

Carlos Navarro (University of New Mexico) asked if there is hip hop coming out of favelas in Rio.  T-Kay said that Baile Funk came out of Rio and is similar to hip hop in some ways.  She contrasted the drug trafficking and consumerist lyrics in Baile Funk  with more politically conscious hip hop lyrics.  T-Kay said that there is some politically conscious hip hop coming out of Rio.  There are community centers that are trying to attract members with hip hop.

T-Kay asked Donald if there are music ethnologists or theologians looking at the evangelist messages in Brazilian gospel rap.  Donald said he wasn’t aware of any theologians working on that.

Gayle Williams asked T-Kay if she’s seen Cordel Literature that is about hip hop or hip hop that mentions Cordel literature.  T-Kay said she’s not that familiar with Cordel literature and isn’t sure.  Viviane said that Cordel literature tends to react to everything and she wouldn’t be surprised.   Suzanne said that some Samba artists were featured in the Cordel literature in their exhibit.

Viviane asked Donald how he has perceived the ascendance of Evangelism in Brazil with both the people and within congress.  She asked if Donald could foresee the election of an Evangelic president within the next two elections.  Donald said there are internal conflicts among the Brazilian evangelicals  and it’s been interesting to see how one group ascends over the other.  He said there are a growing number of evangelicals trying to engage with social realities in Brazilian culture, which leads them to political engagement.

Panel 12, Tuesday May 31, 2011, 2:00 pm-3:30 pm

Moderator: Silvia Mejia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Presenters: Marisol Ramos, University of Connecticut; T-Kay Sangwand, The University of Texas at Austin; and Joel Blanco-Rivera, University of Pittsburgh
Rapporteur: Suzanne Schadl, University of New Mexico

The first presentation, Sharing Archives: The P.R. Civil Court Cases Collection Digital Project, by Marisol Ramos of the University of Connecticut (UConn) offered digitization of the Puerto Rican Civil Court Cases Collection as a solution for colonialist ownership of cultural heritage collections in tenuous political environments. Ramos noted that this collection, purchased by UConn in 2002 (before her appointment), actually belonged in the National Archive in Puerto Rico. Upon its establishment in 1955, it became the repository for all government records from the Spanish period to the present. Even so, and through legal means, these documents were in the custody of UConn when she began working there. Because of strict Connecticut state laws prohibiting the deaccession of materials bought by the state, this 19th century collection could not be returned to Puerto Rico. To make matters worse, the fragility of the documents within this collection prohibited making photocopies to share access with the country of provenance.

In 2007, Ramos became concerned with how best to address the moral and ethical obligation to provide Puerto Ricans access to this collection. She saw it as part of the Puerto Rican national and cultural heritage. As a Puerto Rican who had worked in and collaborated with staff at the National Archive in Puerto Rico, Ramos felt even more obligated to identify a solution to the problem of U.S. universities ending up with collections far from their countries of origin. After offering a snapshot of several cases in which donations, purchases, deaths, and/or other events led to document drains, Ramos addressed the difficult historical relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States. In so doing, she situated their relationship within studies of colonialism. Ramos noted that as a political appointee embroiled in this difficult connection, it would be ill-advised for the director of the National Archive in Puerto Rico to formally demand that documents be returned to Puerto Rico. The rotating nature of such political positions would make this endeavor even more complicated.

Ramos proposed intervention from archivists and librarians in the United States holding cultural heritage collections. She then outlined the UConn project, and announced that the Latin American Microforms Project (LAMP) had agreed to help fund the initiative. Ramos noted that once digitized, by May 2012 all of the documents in the Puerto Rican Civil Court Cases Collection would be shared through the Internet Archive. Ramos noted that while this solution did not return documents to their country of origin, it did offer access. It also successfully bypassed University funding politics and spoke to the difficulties of cross national/institutional ownership of cultural heritage collections in a tenuous funding situation and in a complicated political environment.

In the second presentation, Tejiendo la Memoria: Strengthening Collective Memory of El Salvador’s Civil War through Transnational Digitization Partnerships, T-Kay Sangwand (The University of Texas at Austin) proposed a Distributed Archival Model as an alternative to problematic traditional methods of archival possession. She argued that the partnership based model of transnational digitization could empower record and access creators by enabling them to retain, expand, and share access while also learning useful techniques in digital preservation.

Sangwand began by presenting the Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) at UT (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/hrdi). This program serves as the umbrella under which her primary focus, the Tejiendo la Memoria project, evolved. Sangwand noted that HRDI emerged out of the collective effort in which activists, scholars, and organizations together with the University of Texas Libraries (UTL) began to identify threatened electronic and analog resources for preservation. They sought to save the most fragile records of international human rights struggles and promote their security through archival availability, human rights research and continued advocacy. A generous grant from the Bridgeway Foundation in 2008 led to the establishment of the HRDI, which Sangwand noted currently engages in transnational collaborative projects to preserve and make accessible the historical record of genocide and human rights violations throughout the world.

Sangwand presented UT Austin’s work with the Radio Venceremos Archive at the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen (Museum of Word and Image) in El Salvador as an example of implementing a Distributive Archival Model. Radio Venceremos traveled with the FMLN during the El Salvadoran Civil War and denounced human rights abuses. Sangwand noted that this medium also became an important means for popular education. After the war ended, Radio Venceremos had 1,270 fragile tapes containing personal testimonies. Needless to say, the Museum Word and Image was reluctant to give UT Austin temporary custody of these important records, and understandably so, especially considering the political history between the United States and El Salvador. UT Austin chose, thus, to use collection development funds in order to send equipment and trainers to the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen with the express purpose of acquiring this digital collection.

UT Austin employees provided training in digital preservation techniques and metadata standards and Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen archivists began to digitize and describe the collection. Custody never changed hands and each party had the opportunity to contribute their expertise to the project. UT Austin and the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen agreed to share the digital copies archived in a server at UT Austin. The original Radio Venceremos tapes remained in El Salvador. The funding formula used in this experimental acquisition involved calculating the staff costs of two employees processing this collection over two years’ time. UT Austin agreed to pay 2/3 of the cost while the Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen covered 1/3. Sangwand concluded by sharing a clip of a sole survivor’s testimonial in these audio files.

In the third presentation, Declassification and Accountability for Part Abuses: Transitional Justice in Latin America and the Impact of Declassified U.S. Government Documents, Joel Blanco-Rivera (University of Pittsburgh) argued that transitional justice in Latin America requires and is dependent upon access to government documents from the United States. He suggested and offered several examples in which these documents have played important roles in memory-related initiatives throughout Latin America.

Blanco-Rivera began his presentation by placing Latin American requirements for access to U.S. government documents in an international context. He offered a review of cases and literature including reference to the following international efforts to save threatened records: German state security service records in the early 1990s; Paraguayan information on detentions during the Stroessner regime; records from the Guatemalan national police stored in a police building in Mexico City; and very recently, records from the Egyptian state security police. In this last case, Blanco-Rivera stated that protestors successfully used social media to document their demands for saving records as well as for documenting them. He noted that in all of these cases, saving these documents from destruction led to public outcries and increased availability, as in the case of the Archive of Terror. Knowledge of these documents also prompted heightened demands for declassified U.S. government documents, as in the case of Operation Condor.

Building on literature regarding the importance of archivist activism in Human Rights, Blanco-Rivera noted that it was imperative for archivists and human rights activists to take responsibility for preserving several different kinds of archives including transitional archives of former regimes; archives of human rights organizations; archives documenting life during the period; and archives of declassified governments. He reiterated that archival sources enable societies to address legacies of human rights abuses, to institute truth programs, and to implement government reforms and other transitions. Blanco-Rivera highlighted the importance of truth commissions as the main mechanisms for addressing abuses in Latin America. He also argued that such efforts succeeded only after also obtaining declassified U.S. documents. Blanco-Rivera demonstrated that combining Truth Commission reports with the declassification of U.S. documents increased interest in the contradictions between U.S. declassified documents and local documents. He added that this triangulation often opened the door for even greater demands for the release of additional records.

Questions & Comments:

Pamela Graham (Columbia University) asked Sangwand how prevalent the UT Austin model is. She wanted to know if there were other institutions doing similar things and she asked Sangwand if the cost sharing formula UT Austin has used addressed ongoing preservation and maintenance costs. Sangwand stated that she was not aware of any other academic organizations doing something similar but that non-governmental organization were involved in like practices. As for the storage and maintenance costs, she noted that the UT Austin director was supportive of the project as an acquisition and not worried about storage right now. The point was to build an infrastructure for this process to continue in the future. There was an inaudible interjection from the audience on other collections or documents in Mexico.

Ana María Garra asked Blanco-Rivera about his familiarity with a case brought in the U.S. in 1973, which was developed from U.S. documents. He noted that he was familiar with that case and added a few additional examples.

Adrian Johnson (UT Austin) asked Blanco-Rivera if civil judgments help people pursue criminal cases, sort of as a means to ameliorate the reality that a civil conviction rarely results in payment.  He wondered if it would be possible to use such a case to revoke citizenship. Blanco-Rivera responded that receiving money was never the end goal. Recognition was most important.

Suzanne Schadl (UNM) asked Ramos and Sangwand if they had to maneuver restrictive bureaucratic funding (such as not recognizing museums as vendors or refusing large reimbursements) to purchase documents in order to get them back to where they belong or to use collections development funds for digital acquisition. Both noted that they had very little difficulty, just increased paper work and communications.

Johnson (UT Austin) asked Ramos if she had any contact with the Puerto Rican Archives since they put this collection into the Internet Archive. He wondered if they were using it. Ramos noted that they were still in the beginning processes of the project and that it would not be live until May 2012.

Adán Benavides (UT Austin) asked Sangwand how feasible it would be to continue these kinds of agreements and how selective they could be in this process. He wanted to know about the long-term sustainability of these projects after the case. Sangwand noted that the library was dedicated to preservation and maintenance costs for these collections, not unlike they would be for other acquisitions. Graham (Columbia University) added that Mellon grants were offering funding for figuring out how to do archiving metadata.