Women of Color Archive (WOCArchive)

wendy barrales, Urban Education
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ariana Mangual Figueroa
Project Website: Women of Color Archive (WOCArchive)
NML Award: The Social Justice Award (June 2021)

Women of Color Archive (WOCArchive)

The Women of Color Archive (WOCArchive) is an intergenerational aural & visual art-based storytelling project that seeks to preserve the stories of our matriarchs, femmes, and non-binary folks of color. Founded in 2016 after an interview with my abuelita Aída, a short film entitled primer país became WOCA’s first submission. Through this process, I sought to preserve stories on a digital platform that not only archived my abuelita’s experiences, but also included the stories of other women of color that would live beyond the next 7 generations.

Through my work as a high school Ethnic Studies teacher, the WOCArchive continued to grow through submissions from high school aged artists whose projects include stories from women with roots in Nigeria, Trinidad, Guatemala, Ecuador, and other Caribbean & Latin American countries. After a series of interviews with a notable woman of color in their life, artists chose an audio clip they found most compelling and paired this soundscape with a stop-motion collage art piece featuring photographs, drawings, and video of their subject. Projects from this first cohort are currently housed in Brownsville, Brooklyn at Weeksville Heritage Center’s: 5th of July Resource Center for Self Determination & Freedom.

The WOCArchive seeks to democratize storytelling through archival artifacts that preserve and celebrate women of color, both of historical significance and of immense meaning to each of us: our very own mamis & abuelitas. We are a community based project and accept submissions on a rolling basis. To learn more, see our submission guidelines at WOCArchive’s Instagram.