Resistance Rooted in Heritage
Charlyn Griffith-Oro (they/honey) is an infinite media artist transmitting communications through English language, symbolism found in objects and unlikely map forms and body-based sciences like movement, birthing, and sex. They are a child of the Caribbean, born in London and raised by Harlem, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia. Charlyn interrogates wholeness through their research and subsequent socially engaged art. From food to sculpture, homesteading and fiction, they lean into their migrations as they make place-based works. Charlyn’s disruptive food technology, the @freebrunchprogram, has won numerous awards.
I allowed the research to bring in my family and our legacy of migration, right alongside the migration that was happening to and from Philadelphia and the Caribbean islands. [...] I'm really interested in how we make space for people like me to do the work of sort of uncovering histories for others. - Charlyn Griffith-Oro
q & A with Charlyn
How has archival research informed your activism?
What do you want other activists and organizers to know about preserving their stories and archival research?
What was it like to do archival research during a pandemic?
My visits to the archive peppered a pretty digitally based experience. I didn’t mind it, I think that because of the pandemic the experience was actually much closer to how most people would have time to do research anyway. Thinking about how visits need to be scheduled and how using the internet to do a lot of preliminary searching can be helpful, and can save time getting lost in a physical library. Everyone should definitely have that experience too though. I hope that for anyone that is a seeker, to spiral into the depths of a place’s holdings on your subject matter. To have to squint as you come outside into the natural light. To have to rub your arms from a little chill of the building, but not wanting to move until you have touched and seen as many of the pieces that matched your search as possible.