Be Kind Rewind
Navigating Issues of Access and Practising an Ethics of Care for Magnetic Media from Vulnerable Communities
Magnetic media, once democratizing documentary tools for marginalized communities, now face degralescence due to the physical degradation of magnetic tape and the obsolescence of playback equipment. However, these are not the only concerns when it comes to these media; while digitizing and providing online access have increasingly become requirements for major funding bodies and strategies adopted by archives, the contemporary neoliberal orientation toward open, online access poses additional risks for vulnerable communities.
The impending magnetic media crisis presents a critical opportunity to contend with neoliberal archival impulses; re-envision approaches to preservation, digitization, and access; and acknowledge the aective values of magnetic media for communities who have produced and cared for them. Largely unexplored in archival literature, the unique promise and precarity of magnetic media created by vulnerable communities require ethical consideration of issues of privacy, exposure, and decontextualization and an understanding of the complexities of preserving magnetic media. This article explores these considerations and issues, advocates for the adoption of a feminist ethics of care, and introduces the VHS Archives Working Group as a generative model for caring for magnetic media from vulnerable communities.
Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication retain copyright in their work. They are required to sign the Agreement on Authors' Rights and Responsibilities that permits Archivaria to publish and disseminate the work in print and electronically. In the same agreement, authors are required to confirm that "the material submitted for publication in Archivaria, both in its paper and electronic versions, including reproductions of other works (e.g. photographs, maps, etc.) does not infringe upon any existing copyright." Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication retain copyright in their work and are able to publish their articles in institutional repositories or elsewhere as long as the piece is posted after its original appearance on archivaria.ca. Any reproduction within one year following the date of this agreement requires the permission of the General Editor.