Social Change and the Participatory Archive

Posted in Projects

As a member of the team behind YAHAnet, a McGill-led intiative that enables global youth involvement in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Dr. Eun Park, of the School of Information Studies, has been responsible for the creation and critical examination of the site’s participatory visual archive. Funded by the SSHRC International Opportunity fund, Dr. Park headed the development of the original digital repository, intitially begun in 2006 in partnership with the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

The archive allows for the storage and searching of a wide range of creative productions by youth involved in the project, including photographs, video, drawings, theatrical productions to name several. Young people are encouraged to upload their work and assign their own tags, organization relationships and “folksonomies”- non-traditional, personal forms of taxonomy. These are then assigned further meta-data, developed by Dr. Park, to enable wider searching. The archive is accessible through the Gallery of the YAHAnet site.

Going on, Dr. Park hopes to receive a SSHRC Partnership grant to continue with the expansion of the archive. She would also like to be able to develop site specific ontologies for the materials held by YAHAnet, which would be based on the personal tags already assigned by their creators. Further information and access to the archive may be found at