We (OYO) recently had the chance to catch up with archivist Brad Duncan (B.D.), who will be sharing his extensive collection of Pamphlets, newspapers, books, records, and ephemera produced by radical Left movements and liberation struggles from across the globe, with us during a special tour that he will be leading during the run of the exhibition in Philadelphia.
OYO: What most draws you to this project?
B.D.: The concept of ‘Organize Your Own’ is so closely related to what I collect, it’s a perfect fit. The concept of self-determination for oppressed peoples is one of the main themes that runs through my archive, and the history of communicating solidarity with freedom struggles through visual art and print culture is one that I take very seriously.
OYO: Are there certain aspects of this history that you are excited to draw out with visitors?
B.D.: Absolutely. Movements for self-determination in the U.S. during the 60s and 70s were very influenced by anti-colonial movements in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, and I’m eager to help visitors connect the dots and explore those connections. I’m also very interested in how white radicals connected with and related to radical movements led by people of color during the New Left period.
OYO: What pieces are you most excited about sharing?
B.D.: I’ve got a lot of radical community newspapers from the early 70s that are locally focused and specific to a nationality or immigrant neighborhood. For example, radical newspapers from New York’s Puerto Rican community (“Palante”), San Francisco’s Chinatown (“Wei Min She”), or Chican@ newspapers from New Mexico (“El Grito Del Norte”) and Los Angeles (“Revolutionary Cause”). This type of radical printed materials–along with flyers, pamphlets, and ephemera–really paints a picture of how leftist community organizing worked in the 70s, especially when animated by anti-white supremacist politics. I think visitors will appreciate examining materials from working class white New Left groups, like October 4th Organization, White Lighting, and the Partisans Party.