Digital Women’s Archive North CIC in Manchester, UK, is an arts and heritage organisation, delivering a programme of community-based projects and research relating to gender. DWAN unlocks women’s histories in archives and collects cultural memories. We use feminist curatorial practices (material and digital) to support women’s services – encouraging women’s active citizenship and self-empowerment.
DWAN is in the early process of crafting a future Digital Women's Archive, as we explore new models for creative online curation and digital archive experience. The current research and development (supported by Arts Council England and the Ida Carroll Trust, UK) has involved a series of hack events and workshops, bringing together artists, curators and archivists, digital technologists, women’s community groups and activists to explore new approaches for curating collections and digital spaces for women’s cultural production. This is the first stage of creating an innovative online archive space built on a model of collaborative practice.
2016 is the year we incorporated DWAN North CIC and received our first Arts Council England grant to begin research and development of the Archive. It feels like a huge milestone after playing with ideas of activist archives and digital heritage for over a decade. 2016 is also the year DWAN developed its Manifesto for Feminist Archiving that underpins our Cyberfeminist approach to digital heritage and digital storytelling (published by Feminist Review in 2017).
Creative Director, Dr Jenna Ashton