Archives in Common

Archives in common is a collaborative project radically situated in the space-time of the pandemic as it has been lived in the South Bronx. This website can be thought of as a living archive of mutual aid initiatives and other collaborative and creative efforts devised since April 2020 by the Saavedras, an undocumented immigrant family of Mixtec origins.

The Saavedras are founders and co-owners of La Morada, a Michelin-star Oaxacan restaurant located in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx. Since April 2020, the restaurant has been operating as a mutual aid kitchen to help sustain the communities of the South Bronx and beyond.

Archives in common is also a public humanities endeavor that adopts an anti-extractivist, anti-capitalist, and decolonial orientation in an attempt to dismantle the physical and conceptual walls that separate the public university—in this case, The City University of New York City (CUNY)—from the communities that this institution is supposed to serve. Public humanities are nourished and made possible by dialogue, participation, and conversations among people within the university and beyond.

How to create an archive that is consistent with the ethics and the practice of mutual aid?

Archives in common understands the archive not as a repository of documents kept behind doors, but as a practice—one that allows us to create and imagine collaboratively, strengthening solidarities and mutual aid networks within our communities.

Archives in common to offer and demand accountability.

Archives in common to account and to give a count.

Archives in common to document and to organize solidarities.

Archives in common as a pedagogy.

Archives in common as a syllabus.

Archives in common as a living practice.

Archives in common to keep building mutual aid.

Archives in common to organize and to resist.

Archives in common to read and to learn.

Archives in common to remember and to memorialize.

Archives in common to imagine and sustain life together.