The internet age has generated a wealth of content—personal Facebook photo albums, memes, Reddit threads, viral TikTok dances—but in the midst of all this noise, what do we want to hang on to? What do we want future generations of queer people to know about our time? In this workshop, we will create individual digital archives of our own lives, and, as a group, we will gather them all together to make a queer time capsule.
Past generations of queer people faced a number of obstacles to leaving a record of their lives. They often had to hide their queerness, and their stories were often told by the very same people who wanted to eradicate them, from doctors who published studies of homosexuality in medical journals to police officers who left behind arrest records. Now that we have the luxury of creating our own archive, what do we want to leave behind? Transcripts of our flirtatious texts? Photos of our favorite outfits? Diaries? A record of the ongoing efforts to restrict our rights?
Together, we will look at several different kinds of archives, from Herman Melville’s collection of quotes about whales in the opening pages of Moby-Dick to the Finding Aid for the Mike Riegel Papers at the History Project in Boston, and piece together our own collections—whether it’s a box full of mementos, a Canva collage of photos, or a Google Doc filled with favorite quotes from your diary—to tell a story about what it means to be queer in the 21st century. We’ll also talk about how record-keeping and archive-making can become a regular practice in your life.
What to bring:
—5 Mementos. This can be anything! Some suggestions: a favorite childhood photo, a diary, an inspiring or illuminating quote, a newspaper clipping.
About the Author:
Amelia Possanza (she/her) is a full-time book publicist and part-time writer who currently lives in Brooklyn with her cat. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Electric Literature, The Millions, and NPR’s Invisibilia. Lesbian Love Story is her first book.