The Tokyo Reels
Mohanad Yaqubi is a filmmaker, producer, and one of the founders of the Ramallah-based production house, Idioms Film. Yaqubi is one of the founders of the research and curatorial collective Subversive Films that focuses on militant film practices, he is a resident researcher at The School of the Art (KASK) in Gent, Belgium since 2017.
Yaqubi is researching archival structures within transnational solidarity movements, asking questions about politics, aesthetics and cinema, at the same time, re-thinking imperfect archives as a mechanism to bridge living memories, his first feature film Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory (2016) made its premiere at TIFF, Berlinale, Cinéma du réel, Dubai IFF, and Yamagata among fifty other premiers and screenings around the world, his second feature R21 AKA Restoring Solidarity (2022) made its premier at Documenta 15, IDFA, Marrakesh FF, True/False among others.
Yaqubi’s filmography as a producer includes the documentary feature Infiltrators (dir. Khaled Jarrar, 2013), Suspended Time (Several directors, 2013) the narrative short Pink Bullet (dir. Ramzi Hazboun, 2014), he co-produced several films including the narrative feature Habibi (dir. Susan Youssef, 2010), the short narrative Though I Know the River is Dry (dir. Omar R. Hamilton, 2012), and the feature documentaries Ambulance (dir. Mohammed Jabaly, 2016) and Ouroboros ( dir. Basma Sharif, 2017), Ibrahim: A Fate to Define (dir: Lina Alabed, 2019) and As I Want (dir. Samaher Al Qadi, 2021).
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Making a historical series on colonial surveillance archives
Inkyfada is an independent, nonprofit media group founded in 2014 by a team of journalists, developers, and graphic designers with the goal of supporting the public interest through innovative journalistic content.
With a particular focus on investigation, contextualization, and data visualization, Inkyfada produces content that helps a diverse readership understand and engage in the politics that impact their lives. Constructed with ongoing collaboration between journalists, developers, and graphic designers, Inkyfada’s publications offer readers accessible and enriching content.
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Haïfa Mzalouat is a journalist and editorial manager for the French version of inkyfada, a Tunis-based investigative medium that produces long-form articles. She studied history, Arabic and political science. She has carried out numerous investigations, notably for the international Pandora Papers investigation, in partnership with ICIJ. Her favorite subjects are migration and historical articles. She edited the historical series - Beyond the dates and Suspicious People - produced by historian Arwa Labidi and published on inkyfada.
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Arwa Labidi is a Tunisian historian. She received her PhD from the University of Paris Nanterre (France). She is currently assistant professor at the University of Jendouba (Tunisia).
She is the author of two series of historical investigation for the media inkyfada: Gens suspects (Suspicious People) and Le Dessous des dates (Beyond The Dates). Her research focuses on archives, national narratives, minorized histories and education.
Arwa also runs regular urban tours of Tunis, focusing on the city's social, cultural and architectural history.
On Political Friendship and Archival Labour
Mahvish Ahmad works on the material legacies of anticolonial and Left movements, archival practices in sites of disappearance, fugitive organising under conditions of war, and the shifting techniques of imperial and sovereign violence, especially in Pakistan. She’s a UK-based Trustee of the South Asian Research and Resource Centre, the topic of this blog. She is also a co-founder of Revolutionary Papers, which studies anticolonial journals (with C. Morgenstern, K. Benson), Archives of the Disappeared, which investigates archive in sites of annihilation (with M. Qato, Y. Navaro, C. Morgenstern), and Tanqeed, an English-Urdu magazine of the Left in Pakistan (with M. Tahir). She’s an Assistant Professor of Human Rights and Politics at the London School of Economics.
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Decolonising LSE is a collective of students, staff, and alumni working together to encourage the practice of decolonising across the London School of Economics. In this past year, we have organised several events online and in-person, demonstrations in solidarity with UCU strikes, and have co-organised with groups such as LSE for Palestine and LSE Justice for Cleaners. Decolonising LSE is made up of several working groups, including the Radical History group.
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Kimia Talebi is an organiser and historian based in London. She recently completed an MSc in International History at LSE.
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Avani Ashtekar recently completed her master's in Human Rights and Politics at LSE. Her research interests include histories of anticolonialism, internationalism, and postcolonial studies, and her work looks at instances of disobedience to anticolonial nationalism and migration. Currently, she is campaigning for gender and sexuality rights at an organization based out of Bengaluru, India.
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Syrian Cassette Archives
Yamen Mekdad is a music researcher, collector, DJ and radio host based in London. His interests in field recording, archiving, radio and grassroots organising have led him to found Sawt of the Earth and Makkam, two London-based collectives. He is a frequent contributor to a number of radio stations, including Root Radio and Balamii Radio, and was a producer of DanDana podcasts on SOAS Radio. Yamen is currently co-producer/curator of the Syrian Cassette Archives, a web based platform that preserves the Syrian cassette era as well as curating and producing SACF’s (Syrian Arts and Culture Festival) music programme. Yamen has performed and collaborated with various artists/art institutions both in the UK and internationally.
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Halwa, Mahyawa and Multiple Registers of Life in the Gulf
Kanwal Hameed is an inter-disciplinary historian with a background in Middle East Studies, and currently a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Orient Institut Beirut. She received her PhD from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Affairs (IAIS) University of Exeter, UK.
She has published “One Struggle, Many Fronts: The National Union of Kuwaiti Students and Palestine”, Eds. Sorcha Thompson & Pelle Olsen, International Solidarity with the Palestinian Revolution (1965-1982), London (IB Tauris: 2022), “Toward a liberation pedagogy” co-authored with Katie Natanel and Amal Khalaf, Kohl Anticolonial Feminisms January 2023, and “The Quiet Emergency: Experiences and Understandings of Climate Change in Kuwait” co-authored with Deen Shariff Sharp, Abrar Alshammari, Kuwait Programme Paper Series, LSE Middle East Centre (13) 2021.
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On the Grenadian Revolution Exhibition
Orsod Malik is a UK-based Sudani curator, writer, content producer and digital strategist. He is the founder of @code__switch an archive/continuum of radical internationalism dedicated to drawing links between anticolonial struggles and thought across space and time.
Orsod’s curatorial practice focuses on developing methods to explore cultural and political entanglements found in the materials he works with. Orsod is the Programme Curator at the Stuart Hall Foundation, and was the 2021 Archivist-in-Resident at the Library of Africa and the African Diaspora (LOATAD). Orsod is the International Curators Forum’s Curator and Digital Strategist and the curator of Shifting the Centre: Grenada as Reference.
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A Small Archive of Secrets and Intimacy
Luiza Prado De O. Martins
Luiza Prado De O. Martins is an artist, activist and researcher. Their work moves between installation and food, using performance and ritual as a way of invitation and activation for audiences. Their practice explores anticolonial strategies in relations and knowledge between food, infrastructures and technology, and questions what structures and process are needed for collective concerns of care.
Their current artistic research project, “Un/Earthings and Moon Landings” reimagines past, future, and present histories of silphium — a plant once used as an aphrodisiac, contraceptive, and cooking spice in the Roman Empire. Thought to be extinct for 2,000 years, the plant might have recently been found again.
Their body of work spans food, performance, video, text, installation, and sculpture, and has been shown at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art Warsaw, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Savvy Contemporary, Akademie Schloss Solitude, and Kampnagel, among others. Luiza is one half of the artist duo We Work in the Dark, and a founding member of the Decolonising Design collective.
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rebellious eyes. through the archive.
Philip Rizk is a film-maker & writer from Cairo living in Berlin. In his films he experiments with methods of “making the habitual strange.” In Out on the Street (2015) he uses performance, in his found footage films Mapping Lessons (2020) and Terrible Sounds (2022) he experiments with the technique of montage. In a world that is breaking down, a question that runs throughout Rizk’s projects is, “how do we prepare ourselves for what is to come?” Rizk is a member of the Mosireen video collective behind the archive 858.ma. His writings include the essay “2011 is not 1968: a letter to an onlooker,” and the co-authored book with Jasmina Metwaly On Trials: A Manual on the Theatre of Law (Archive Books, 2021). He irregularly teaches in classrooms and workshops. He is a 2022/23 fellow of The Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme.
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Memory as an archive of disappearance
Sara Salem is an Associate Professor in Sociology at the London School of Economics. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, Marxist theory, and global histories of anticolonialism. Her recently published book with Cambridge University Press is entitled Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt: The Politics of Hegemony (2020). A selection of published journal articles include: on Angela Davis in Egypt in the journal Signs; on Frantz Fanon and Egypt’s postcolonial state in Interventions: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies; on Gramsci and anticolonialism in the postcolony in Theory, Culture and Society; and on Nasserism in Egypt through the lens of haunting in Middle East Critique. She is currently thinking and writing about ghosts and anticolonial archives.
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Weaving with fragments and fractures
Fozia Ismail, scholar, cook and founder of Arawelo Eats, a platform for exploring politics, identity and colonialism through East African food.
She has worked with a range of cultural institutions including London School of Economics, Museum of London, Serpentine Gallery, Tate Modern, National Trust, The Courtauld, Bristol Old Vic, Battersea Arts Centre, Wellcome Collection Watershed and Arnolfini.
Her work has been published by Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery and Vittles. She has been featured on Observer Food Magazine, BBC Radio 4 Food Programme, Oxford Symposium on Food &; Cookery Ox Tales podcast, Food 52, London Eater, Vice Munchies, Vittles & Bristol 24/7.
When not critically eating her way through life’s messiness she can be found plotting with dhaqan collective, a Somali feminist art collective based at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol. dhaqan collective is a feminist art collective led by Ayan Cilmi and Fozia Ismail, centering the voices of womxn and elders in our community, and privileging co-creation and collaboration. Our practice seeks to find ways of building imaginative futures that support Somali people here and in East Africa to resist the threats over cultural heritage.
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A Ballad on Archiving
Anna Sulan Masing
Dr Anna Sulan Masing is a writer and academic. She is co-founder of Cheese magazine, and the public research platform Sourced which investigates our global food and drink systems. Anna Sulan’s podcast series, Taste of Place by Whetstone Radio Collective about the history of pepper, launched in 2022 and her debut book, Chinese And Other Asian, will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
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Archives of Dreaming
I am an Associate Professor in Human Geography at the University of Oxford. I currently hold a British Academy -Wolfson Fellowship (2022 to 2025). In all my work, I’m interested in how spaces of colonial education shape histories of gender, sexuality, and race. My first book, Unhomely Histories focuses on hostels for girls in late colonial India, asking how to make sense of an archive that is simultaneously sparse and abundant in its construction of girlhood at the nexus of projects of racial and sexual difference in the colony. In previous work, I have focused on the interplay of pleasure and danger in young women’s lives in India, and on the ordinariness of carcerality in the project of postcolonial sexual discipline in India. My work has appeared most recently in Social History,Antipode, and Gender, Place, and Culture. I have also written for readers beyond the academy in Public Books,the Abusable Past, and History Workshop Journal. I am also Editor of Gender, Place, and Culture and Associate Editor of The Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.
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Citizen Sound Archive
The Citizen Sound Archive is a multilingual archive of relations and imaginations; of political voices and songs of belonging; of movements, migrations, and social transformations. It contains recordings made by members of the Syrian and Greek Youth Forum (SGYF), a movement and community organisation based in Athens, Greece. The archive is a sounding board of creative methods of belonging, through which we connect our work in Athens to histories and geographies of resistance. Through these recordings, we seek to reimagine Athenian publics and politics, and to write anticolonial Mediterranean futures.
The archive is co-run by Tom Western – a researcher and teacher based at UCL – with colleagues in SGYF. It gathers and combines artistic, activist, and academic perspectives, and the result is a space of creation and collaboration: a resource for the city; a platform for communication with movements elsewhere; a space of community mobilising, collective research, and knowledge production. Tom and SGYF colleagues also produce a regular show on Movement Radio, working with materials from the sound archive. This is part of broader ongoing work of thinking with sonic and spatial imaginations and forms of resistance, and the ways that they open creative ways of contesting the logics of borders, citizenship regimes, and other forms of social injustice.
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The People of the Archive
Mai Taha is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She has written on law, colonialism, labour movements, class and gender relations, and social reproduction in the Middle East. A selection of her publications include: Human Rights and Communist Internationalism: On Inji Aflatoun and the Surrealists (2023); The Comic and the Absurd: On Colonial Law in Revolutionary Palestine (2022); and Law, Class Struggle and Nervous Breakdowns (2021). Using film, literature, and oral history narratives, Mai is currently working on questions relating to labour, the home, and revolutionary subjectivity.
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The Dust Does Not Simply Settle
Yasmine Kherfi is a London-based writer, editor, and researcher. She is currently a PhD candidate in Sociology at the London School of Economics, where her project explores entanglements between revolution, collective memory and cultural production in the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Prior to her PhD, Yasmine administered research projects as part of the LSE Middle East Centre’s collaboration programme with Arab universities. She holds a master’s from the Bartlett Development Planning Unit at University College London, and a BA in Middle East studies and political science from the University of Toronto. With experience working in the cultural sector, Yasmine occasionally curates events centering on solidarity and regional struggles.
Chilean revolutionary arpilleras
Roberta Bacic is the founder of Conflict Textiles,an organisation and digital archive of arpilleras,textiles from Chile and other countries that document political and social realities. Arpilleras were (and are) predominantly made by women, and became popular under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile as they documented scenes of violence and resistance, particularly against enforced disappearance. Roberta Bacic has a large collection of arpilleras that she cares for and travels with to exhibitions around the world. This collection is digitised and can be found at Conflict Textiles. During a workshop at LSE with May Day Rooms, Roberta spoke about the history and power of arpilleras, and how we canthink of them as an important archive. After the workshop, we spoke with her about the idea of archiving
An Archive of Exile and Diaspora
Marral Shamshiri is a PhD candidate in International History at the London School of Economics. She is interested in the histories of socialism and internationalism, Third Worldism and the global cold war. Her current project looks at the history of the Iranian Left, focusing on the transnational and political connections between Iranian and Arab revolutionary movements in the long 1960s and 1970s. She is co-editor of the book She Who Struggles (Pluto Press, 2023).
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The Public and Private Black Archive
Dr Clive Chijioke Nwonka
Dr Clive Chijioke Nwonka is Associate Professor in Film, Culture and Society at UCL, and a Faculty Associate of the UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation. Dr Nwonka’s research centres on the study of Black British and African American film, with a particular focus on the Black aesthetics, images of Black urbanity and the modes through which Black identities are shaped by representations of environments, architecture, social anxieties and the hegemony of neoliberalism within forms of Black popular culture. In addition, he has published extensively on racial inequality in the creative industries and ‘diversity’ policy frameworks that are equally born from broader political discourses on race, racism and cultural difference. Thus, Nwonka’s research is interdisciplinary and spans across Film Studies, literature, Cultural Studies, Black Studies and Sociology. Nwonka is the co-editor of the book Black Film/British Cinema II and is the author of the forthcoming books Black Boys: The Aesthetics of British Urban Film, and Black Arsenal: Race, Cultural Memory and Black British Identity (2023)
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Social Reproduction and the
Lucy Garbett is a researcher at the London School of Economics and Social Science based in Jerusalem.