AAC Travel Fund Award Winner olivier Reports on MAC 2023

09 May 2023 4:02 PM | Doris Cardenas

I locked my bike outside of the MAC venue when Natalia told me she got a chai for me. I later exchanged her chai with my birthday gift for her. 

My first time going to MAC isn’t as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be, because I think of all the archive-ancestors I had. Ancestors made them sound so old, I mean it in a way that they are protective of me and generous of their energy towards my endless questions. I met Natalia Gutierrez-Jones and Benn Joseph nearly one year ago, and last Friday I gently held Natalia’s hand during a panel we were sitting in, and gave Benn a hug when he was on his way to some busy MAC affairs. 

During poster discussion sections, I chewed on my gigantic chocolate cookie and walked too close to the archival boxes and materials that the vendors were promoting; feeling I am doing something terribly wrong, but- what a thrill. 

I walked among talkative archivists, eavesdropping on them being excited about various projects, and I glanced at all these eager faces wondering if any of their subject guides and finding aids were the ones I have looked at for reference. It’s not like I remember exactly what they wrote, but I remember the carefulness of descriptions, the consistency of languages, and the gentleness of acknowledgements. 

As much as I enjoyed all the panels I went to, listening to the three Emeritus Awardees talking about their gratitude towards MAC and the significance of receiving the award in Chicago, where MAC was started was the most enjoyable. As a foreigner in the States, as an ocean-oriented body in Midwest, I received the most perfect gift from all the archivists who are willing to pass on their knowledge and of course, BIPOC archivists who are willing to aid us in finding our identities in the archive industry. 

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