Vulnerable Media Lab

Black and white photo of woman using a camera.
Photo from the Women in Focus Society,

[The Social Ecology of Vulnerable Media is] a collaborative research project […] dedicated to the social ecology of media arts collectives and collections, and to the preservation, migration and remediation of media arts archives by women, Indigenous peoples, and local groups.

The interdisciplinary Social Ecology of Vulnerable Media (SEVM) research project is dedicated to the study of media collections and collectives through the preservation, migration and remediation of the rich and diverse audio-visual production in Canada by Indigenous peoples, women, LGBTQ2 and local audio-visual artists in the Kingston region.

Susan Lord, Dylan Robinson and Rosaleen Hill have received $800,000 from CFI/JELF and MIRS/ORF to study and create new archival processes and forms of access for the robust audio-visual histories of media makers whose cameras and microphones are used to contribute to community resilience, and as tools of critical reflection of colonial and patriarchal archives. The work in the state-of-the-art Vulnerable Media Lab is grounded in the understanding that audio-visual cultural heritage has been unequally cared for and that the cultural practices of women and Indigenous peoples are in particular need of a dedicated archival focus and framework.  A key objective of the project is to work with “born digital media” alongside a variety of “obsolete” and “marginal” media, all of which share their own kinds of material vulnerabilities. The researchers aim to develop methods and processes to ensure this media art history is preserved and made available according to culturally specific and ethically driven forms of access, thus engaging in new conversations about cultural heritage. 

Read more about the Vulnerable Media Lab here. To learn more about Susan Lord and her other projects, visit her research profile and the Department of Film and Media website.