We are delighted to host an event with Phil Cohen, author of Archive that, Comrade! Left Legacies and the Counter Culture of Remembrance . The book explores issues of archival theory and practice that arise for any project aspiring to provide an open access platform for political dialogue and democratic debate. Visiting from London, at this event Cohen will respond to the Prelinger Library and engage in dialogue with Library co-founder Megan P. about these ideas. Light beverages will be served. This event will take place at 4 p.m. on Friday the 4th of May, doors at 3:00.
Cohen’s writing is informed by his experience of writing a memoir about his involvement in the London “underground” scene of the 1960s, the London street commune movement. How far can the archive serve as a platform for dialogue and debate between different generations of activists in a culture that fetishizes the evanescent present, practices a profound amnesia about its counterfactual past, and forecloses the sociological imagination of an alternative future? Phil Cohen played a key role in the London counterculture scene of the 1960s. As “Dr. John” he was the public face of the London street commune movement. He subsequently became an urban ethnographer, and for the past forty years he has been involved with working-class communities in East London documenting the impact of structural and demographic change on their livelihoods, lifestyles, and life stories. Currently he is research director of LivingMaps, a network of activists, artists, and academics developing a creative and critical approach to social mapping.