Critical archives for decolonial literacies

Cultural trauma, biography art and neo-documentalism


  • Pedro Diaz ECA/USP



Archive, Criticism, Decoloniality, Ethics, Memory, Neo-Documentalism


This article relates to the information ethical critique of archives in the decolonial debate for social memory appropriation and cultural knowledge production. The decolonial approach is presented as a critical literacy emergent tendency that searches for evidencing conflicts in the formation of archives, collections and common knowledge in its power relations of historic social constructions. Decolonial theory have been unfolding in many areas and bringing diverse questionings focusing on the plurality of knowledge and ethical preservation, especially on ethno-racial relations. This article tries to broad the field of information science production pointing to a fictional problematic frontier of meaning making, dispute and collective reality. Looking for support on a psychoanalysis approach to cultural trauma, Lacan's symbolic contribution helps to evidence perspectives on ways of reporting and constituting social conflict with development of archival devices, communication contends and social memory. The biographical and performance artistic aspects presented, complements decolonial perspectives in what is referred to as “neo-documentalism”, in the field of Information Science, as a poetic character intrinsic in critical literacies of information.

Abstrato (pt):

Relaciona a crítica dos arquivos no debate decolonial pela apropriação social da informação e produção cultural do conhecimento. A abordagem decolonial se apresenta como um letramento crítico evidenciando conflitos na formação dos arquivos, acervos e do conhecimento comum em suas relações de poder e construção histórica social. As abordagens da psicanálise de Lacan para o trauma cultural ajudam a apoiar perspectivas sobre as formas de relatar e constituir conflitos sociais com o desenvolvimento de dispositivos e conteúdos simbólicos arquivísticos. Os aspectos biográficos e performáticos apresentados complementam a perspectiva decolonial no que se denomina “neodocumentalismo”, no campo da Ciência da Informação, como caráter artístico intrínseco aos letramentos críticos da informação.


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How to Cite

Diaz, Pedro. 2021. “Critical Archives for Decolonial Literacies: Cultural Trauma, Biography Art and Neo-Documentalism”. The International Review of Information Ethics 30 (1). Edmonton, Canada.