Martor No. 24 / Year 2019

Archives as Ruins: Means of Understanding the Future in an Era of Wrecks 

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Alexandru Iorga

University of Bucharest & “Constantin Brăiloiu” Institute for Ethnography and Folklore, Romania

Pages: 43-54

Keywords: Archives, ruins, knowledge production, museums, anthropology and ethnology.


Archives are not all the time talking about themselves—as if a self might be forced on them until their disappearance. Why are we so much into archives, museums, collections, and accumulation? What is the purpose of individual and public archives? How are they imagined, built and used? What are the ends of archives and museums in an era of breaking off with the past? 

The paper aims to discuss some possible answers to these questions. It scrutinizes the ways in which archives are storage places and knowledge producers, as well as the manners in which they are and can be instrumentalized. It will examine the meanings of archives and museums in post-colonial, neo-colonial and national environments.

How to cite this article: Iorga, Alexandru. 2019. “Archives as Ruins: Means of Understanding the Future in an Era of Wrecks.” Martor 24: 43-54. [DOI: 10.57225/martor.2019.24.04]