Ourchives: a decolonial research project

Ourchives is an interdisciplinary research project based in Edinburgh, UK that I co-founded with Jeanne Coppens. Our resources and workshops attempt to substantiate urgent debates on the provenance and afterlife of cultural objects from formerly colonised spaces in Scotland and beyond. We approach museum space and archives through the scope of positioned history and memory as opposed to a rational and scientific one, to deconstruct how dominant ideologies of nation-building, capital accumulation and cultural exceptionalism leave their mark on archival/ curatorial practices. 

Our key collective concerns are politicising the archival and museum institution; interrogating archive, museum and institutional history; capacitating oppressed groups to reclaim space in archives, galleries, museums, towards self-determination; alternative forms of archiving, beyond imperial taxonomies and epistemologies of preservation; and exploring pre-colonial archives and archival practices.

Since founding Ourchives, I have joined UncoverED, a collaborative research project, funded by Edinburgh Global, which aims to situate the ‘global’ status of the University of Edinburgh in its rightful imperial and colonial context.

Founders

Tanatsei Gambura and Jeanne Coppens

Collaborator

Aayushi Gupta

Founding date

February 2020

Project location

Edinburgh, United Kingdom