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Stop LAPD Spying Coalition Archive: Understanding and Resisting

Friday, April 9, 2021 @ 2:00 pm 3:00 pm

Registration & About this Event

Register for the Zoom discussion.

Dillon Sung and Hamid Khan will speak about a project to create a digital archive for the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition. Dillon will return in June to host a workshop for TRLN on generating folksonomies related to this archive. Attending this presentation is highly encouraged as a prerequisite to the workshop.

Conceptualized and developed with community members, this multi-phase project will collect and make accessible public records obtained from governmental agencies, materials about the Coalition, and additional information about the project and archive. The archive will support community members, organizers, artists, journalists, and researchers doing work against state surveillance, by providing access to information as well as models and archive tools for organizers who want to develop their own community-based archives locally. The archive represents the ongoing resistance against state surveillance, and aims to contribute to the building of community power towards abolition.

For more context about this project, we recommend a 30-minute documentary created by organizers, or you can read more about the project at

About the Speakers

Dillon Sung

Dillon Sung is a multimedia artist and community organizer based in Southern California. Dillon’s research as a Ph.D. student and Provost Fellow of American Studies & Ethnicity at USC is on the question of migrant self-determination and the conditions of possibility for full participation for stateless peoples—considering the historical function of Korean statelessness in particular. Her interdisciplinary work analyzes how affective practices—such as grief, missing, wanting of possibility—can generate resistive subject formations for the speculative potential of stateless socialities in imperiling the notion(s) of citizenship, settler colonialism, and nation-statehood. She also informs and engages her research with an art practice through discourses of fine art—namely social practice—and performance studies. She is a 2019 – 2021 Imagining America PAGE Co-Director and the lead artist in developing the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition Archive as a 2020 – 2021 Rapid Response for a Better Digital Future Fellow at Eyebeam.

Hamid Khan

Hamid Khan is an organizer and coordinator with the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition. The mission of the coalition is to build community-based power to dismantle police surveillance, spying, and infiltration programs. The coalition utilizes multiple campaigns to advance an innovative organizing model that is Los Angeles-based but has implications regionally, nationally, and internationally. As founder and former Executive Director of South Asian Network (1990-2010), Hamid helped create the first grass roots community-based organization in Los Angeles committed to informing and empowering thousands of South Asians in Southern California to act as agents of change in eliminating biases, discrimination and injustices. Hamid also serves on the board of May First Technology, a membership organization that engages in building movements by advancing the strategic use and collective control of technology for local struggles, global transformation, and emancipation without borders.

Questions to Consider

  1. How did consulting with archivists and other information professionals change the project? Was there tension between “professional” archival concepts or conventions and the goals of the project? 
  2. The archive is being shaped by the audiences that will use it. Who are the audiences you envisioned at the beginning and has this changed as you speak with more people about this work?
  3. Have any expressed community needs seemed in conflict with each other or the project goals and scope?  If so, how those have been resolved.
  4. What are the implications of making a born digital archive physical? Are there other archives that you modeled this idea after? 
  5. Some interviewees in the documentary talked about abolition, and at least one hoped this archive would lead to that.  Can you talk more about the idea of abolition, and if there are any next steps for the archive after it’s live that relate to abolition?