Archives of the 2011 Uprisings

The project aims at mapping and analysing the emergent citizen and activist-generated archives of digital footage documenting the Arab uprisings from 2010 onwards. We will explore the diverse ways in which these autonomous ”own-voice” records and archives are made and remade; how they are mobilized to produce histories that resist and contest official narratives, and how they are meaningful to their creators and users.

Syria – The Syrian Archive

The Syrian Archive is a Syrian-led and initiated collective of human rights activists dedicated to curating visual documentation relating to human rights violations and other crimes committed by all sides during the conflict in Syria with the goal of creating an evidence-based tool for reporting, advocacy and accountability purposes.

Egypt – Mosireen 858.ma archive

858 is an initiative by the Egyptian collective Mosireen to make public all the unedited footage they shot and collected since the 2011 uprising in Egypt. Most of the archives on this open-access database is being made publicly available for the first time, presenting, in its founders’ own words, thousands of histories of the revolt from hundreds of perspectives, ‘to fight the narratives of the counter-revolution, pry loose the Egyptian state’s grip on history and keep building new histories for the future’.

Palestine – Human Rights Defenders in Hebron

Human Rights Defenders is a grass-roots, non-partisan Palestinian organisation working to support nonviolent popular resistance through popular direct action and documentation of human rights violations committed by the Israeli occupation. It aims to document these violations through the distribution of cameras to Palestinian families in areas where violations occur on a continual basis. HRD also works to build an independent image archive of Palestinian life under and resistance to the Israeli occupation.

Yemen – The Yemen Archive

Building on the lessons learnt documenting video evidence of Human Rights violations in Syria, the Syrian Archive team is working with a number of civil society and HR organisations to launch a similar initiative in Yemen, the Yemen Archive. Recognising the importance of preserving digital material that document human rights abuses for justice and accountability purposes, the Yemen Archive works with Yemeni activists, based in Yemen and in the diaspora, to develop tools and methodologies that would allow the curation, verification and archiving of visual evidence of HR abuses during the Yemeni conflict.

Image Credit: Julien Harneis from Sana’a, Yemen