Episode 3: Snowden Becker – Home Movies, Archives and Law Enforcement

It’s been a supercharged few weeks hasn’t it, friends?

Yeah.

I thought about delaying this episode a little longer because of the current climate and because of how hot everything is right now around discussions of people in positions of authority and guns and the madness. But since I don’t readily have a episode with a validly angry amazingly powerful teenager on hand, I think going with this episode is actually quite important and after careful consideration, it’s a good time for it.

Snowden Becker is probably one of my favorite women in the archiving field. The tragedy of this podcast is that you can’t see how INSANELY stylish she always is. This woman has the best shoes EVER and snappy outfits to match. She looks like she stepped right out of a George Cukor movie.

Then she begins to discuss a topic and it’s just as well-put together as the ensemble she showed up in. This is a woman who doesn’t bullshit, is constantly learning and teaching, and doesn’t waste time on subjects or interests that are not somehow connected to the idea of Being Better.

I was initially nervous when I heard that Snowden was working with the police on her examination of body worn cameras, since I firmly believe that established law enforcement in the US is structured in a way that favors Rich White Straight Men, causing People of Color to fear for their lives on a daily/hourly/minute-by-minute basis.  My conversation with Jarrett Drake on the last episode spoke to this when we chatted about his experiences with the on-campus guards.

THAT SAID, what Snowden is doing here is absolutely essential. While the subject sparks more emotions than an entire Beyonce album, the one thing to keep in mind is assessing this work needs to be done separately from having feelings about it. Both can (and should) be done, but one of the most useful aspects of this project is that, as Snowden says in this episode, she is leveraging her privilege to get something really accomplished here. AND IT IS VALUABLE.

I was incredibly lucky to have had Snowden as a professor. Her continued support has been invaluable to my career. She regularly and consistently makes it a point to lift others up, especially younger people just beginning in the field. Her work is not limited to the law enforcement examinations as you will see. In my opinion, her work is pretty limitless

Fun Snowden Becker Fact: She can knit like crazy, while asking challenging questions to a speaker at a conference who really did not see it coming. I’VE SEEN HER DO THIS. IT IS MAGICAL.

I highly recommend that you visit her website, follow her on Twitter and ask her any questions you wish to. She’s 100% one of *the* most approachable people.

Her current bio:

SNOWDEN BECKER has been a leader in the field of media archives and preservation for over fifteen years. She is a co-founder of the international Home Movie Day event and the non-profit Center for Home Movies, which was awarded the SAA Hamer Kegan Award for archival advocacy in 2017. She holds a BFA in Printmaking from the Maryland Institute, an MLIS from UCLA, and is completing a PhD in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation, “Keeping the Pieces: Evidence management and archival practice in law enforcement” is based in part on fieldwork in the property room and major crimes unit of a Sheriff’s office central Texas. Other recent projects include the IMLS-funded “On the Record, All the Time” National Forum on preservation and data management needs for police body-worn cameras (more info at http://is.gseis.ucla.edu/bodycams/). Becker manages the MLIS program in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA, and regularly teaches workshops and graduate courses in heritage preservation, media collections administration, professional development and portfolio design.

Web: http://snowdenbecker.com
Twitter: @snowdenbecker

 

Episode 1: Siobhan Hagan and MARMIA

Welcome to the first episode of Archivist’s Alley!

Please enjoy this conversation with one of my dearest companions in moving image archiving and preservation. Siobhan Hagan is a SUPERSTAR in the field and a women that I continue to be inspired by.

Her continued work on MARMIA is truly astounding and I hope that you all love listening to her talk about it as much as I enjoyed talking to her about it!

 Fall in love with MARMIA & donate some funds to support this important women-led institution!

Here is MARMIA’s website: https://marmia.org/

Here is MARMIA’s channel on the Internet Archive:  https://archive.org/details/marmia

And click here to donate some monies to this badass place!

 

Here is a little background on Siobhan:

Siobhan was born and raised in Maryland and holds her M.A. in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP) from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has worked in a variety of collecting organizations throughout her career, including the UCLA Library and the National Aquarium. She is currently contracting at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art and is also active in the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA): she is a co-chair of the Regional Audio-Visual Archives Committee and a co-chair of the Local TV Task Force, and was an AMIA Director of the Board from 2015-2017.

Here are a few of the clips that we talked about in the podcast:

Investigative report on blockbusting:

https://archive.org/details/WJZ-QUAD-01

 

One of Oprah’s first acting gigs: https://archive.org/details/WJZ-PAT-001-006