Hack the Archive

A vanguard generation of progressive activists is approaching advanced age just as many of their 1960s era defining battles are taking on renewed political urgency. These actors link a vital web of fight genealogies filled with strategies, values, lessons and cautions largely unknown to current and emerging activist communities. 

Preserving and growing activist networks demand an intentional effort to prioritize the social relationships and knowledge-building work that anchor their missions across generations and geographies now and far into the future. Existing institutional archives offer interesting but limited opportunities to investigate the stories and actors of the near political past. This project will engage a cross-coalition of students, activists, residents and their allies to create a new type of archive of activist histories and stories that trace their beginnings to multiple land fights rooted in the civil rights, anti-war, student, women’s and counterculture movements of the 1960s. Students will work with a set of activists seeking to answer specific questions about how to develop an archive that will continue to stimulate and inform activism that is linked to the historic struggles of economic and social inclusion in Boston.