Centralized Culture through the Lens of the Archive

The more I think about cultural assumptions as a whole, the more I am fascinated by how imperative it is, the power and control over archives (and access to those archives), in shaping a central narrative locus, which then is regularly used as the de facto evidence for “culture” itself–as if culture is a body of evidence that defines the existence of people, and not the other way around.

I think this phenomenon creates a sort of simulated reality that yearns for its own self-preservation. So many voices who contribute to the archive, when excluded, are then imagined through the lens of the archive, which perpetuates exclusion and furthers an imagination of participants as marginal or outside, and thus somehow not also the benefactors of connection to the power afforded to inclusion and to the archive itself.

In our globalized Western world, power is primarily imagined and distributed through capital. And thus, capital and its distribution dictates the inclusion, access and ultimately the worth of the archive, and the cultures it informs. But that reality rests outside any archive’s internal success. It’s a pickle.

By Ruadhán

Ethnomediologist, writer, digital creator, & gamer. Author & developer of Augur's Lore TTRPGs. Polyhedral dice & pizza enthusiast. Pronouns: they/them/their

2 replies on “Centralized Culture through the Lens of the Archive”

I’m interested in more thoughts on this in your upcoming podcast pilot episode, when the ethnoMEDIAlogue debuts!

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