Excerpt from Chapter 7, The Archive: by Elizabeth Ferrer
For many Latinx artists working with the camera, photography functions as an act against forgetting—against the forms of social and cultural marginalization that diminish or erase communities from the historical record, effecting a kind of historical amnesia. Photographs assert the presence of individuals, communities, and histories that might otherwise be either willfully overlooked or inaccurately portrayed; the medium acts as both a personal and a political form of declaration, an affirmation of being. In Archive Fever, the philosopher Jacques Derrida examined archives from a Freudian perspective, framing them as repositories both public and personal. For Derrida, the archive—whether based on personal belongings, institutional records, the library, or the museum collection—is driven by primal urges to forget or omit, on the one hand, and to conserve, on the other. Derrida spoke of a compulsive drive, a burning human passion for the archive—a return to origins. Rather than seeing the archive as the dry receptacle for history, he posited it as an active force; it holds a position of authority because it shapes and controls the way history is read, which in turn shapes our social and political realities. As Derrida noted, “the question of the archive is not . . . a question of the past.” Rather, it opens “the very question of the future itself, the question of a response, of a promise and of a responsibility for tomorrow.”…
Luis Delgado Qualtrough (b. 1952, Mexico City; based in San Francisco and Long Beach, California) began his carer as a social documentarian and is known for a prolific, and varied body of photographic work and artist books, often involving unconventional approaches to the medium. In the early years of the twenty-first century, as Delgado  Qualtrough moved to digital forms of image making, he produced large-scale photomontages  and diptychs that combine multiple images to speak to the complexity of such issues as historical memory, political power, and neocolonialism. … Delgado Qualtrough has continually experimented with the photographic medium and with printing formats...
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