Series 01 - Women's Labour History Project

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Women's Labour History Project

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  • Multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series.

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  • 1974 - 1996 (Creation)
    Sara Diamond

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Physical description

Approximately 15 metres of records.

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Name of creator

(1954 -)

Biographical history

Dr. Sara Diamond is currently President of OCAD University (2018). Diamond holds a PhD in Computing, Information Technology and Engineering from the University of East London, a Master’s in Digital Media theory from the University of the Arts London and an Honour’s Bachelor of Arts in History and Communications from Simon Fraser University. She is an appointee of the Order of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Society of Artists; and also a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. During her tenure, OCAD U has taken a leadership role in digital media, design research, and curriculum, through the Digital Futures Initiative. Diamond also played a leading role in OCAD University’s establishment of the Indigenous Visual Culture program.

Diamond was hugely influential in the B.C. labour, feminist, LGBTQ2S and independent video movement from the mid-1970s through the mid 1990s. She was an innovator and influencer in Vancouver’s cultural and academic communities as a solo artist, curator educator (ECUAD, VIVO Media Arts Centre), and as co-founder of Amelia Productions and founder of the Women’s Labour History Project.

Diamond worked at VIVO Media Arts Centre for over a decade (from the early 1980s) spearheading exhibition and education programs for women, inspiring more to engage with the radical potential of the medium. She mentored women in arts administration, curation, media criticism, and production at VIVO as well as in her independent practice.

Diamond’s personal artworks are held by the Art Bank (Ottawa),Museum of Modern Art (NYC), and the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa). In 1992, Diamond was honoured with a retrospective exhibition and catalogue at the National Gallery of Canada, following a retrospective at the 1991 IMAGES Festival in Toronto and a solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

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Scope and content

Series consists of records pertaining to the Women's Labour History Project (WLHP) and videos that Diamond produced as part of this project.

The Women’s Labour History Project, 1978-1995, was a non-profit society founded and led by Sara Diamond which undertook a wide variety of documentation and artistic activities. Focusing on the role of women in labour history in British Columbia from the 1920s forward, the WLHP was committed to uncovering the historical roles women played within labour organizations and working-class communities. Its initial form was an audio oral history project started by Diamond during her undergraduate time at Simon Fraser University in 1978. Initial activities included the creation of an annotated bibliography of resources on women’s labour located in B.C. archive, and expanding the oral history project to include video interviews. Diamond also produced an unpublished manuscript based on this research, titled “Chambermaids and Whistlepunks.”

In the late 1980s, Diamond started producing a series of videos which built off of and re-mixed material from the existing Women’s Labour History Project’s activities. During this period, Diamond was known for her creative and experimental approaches to video, combining traditional documentary treatments, docudrama, and archival images. The WLHP undertook other educational efforts during this time including media installations and the publication of discussion guides to accompany some videos.

The series is divided into two subseries:
Textual and photographic records
Audiovisual materials

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Materials are in good condition.

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Original order maintained.

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