Support Systems for Daylight

October 2018
Editorial collaboration with Clare Qualmann and Amy Sharrocks, with contributions by Jade Montserrat, Ivor Mackaskill, Feminist Duration Reading Group, Diana Damian Martin, Cath Hoffman, Clare Collison, Clare McDonald, Joy Gregory

Daylight, collaborative newspaper interrogating and interrupting the archives of the Wellcome Collection.

Daylight was a newspaper that explored the way in which womxn, women and others genders are recorded in the archives. Daylight was the result of a research residency in the Wellcome Collections Archives, we were looking for the way in which women, trans and non binary people were represented by the medical archive. We wanted to learn more about the inheritances of the scientific and medicalised knowledge that the Wellcome collection housed.

We worked over three months in conversations with archivists, and experts in the Wellcome Collection to understand what its like to be care takers of that knowledge, we saw the archivists as guides in seeking out the gaps, the misrepresentations, the slippages. They were happy to share and eager to speak about the way in which the archive is unable to account for all of the messiness of lived experience and the shared their caution about the medical categorisations that they still use to sort and store this knowledge.

The introduction to the paper titled “Support Systems” sharedthe process of the research and paid tribute to Honor Fell the female biologist whose archive is held within the collection who discovered the unit of the cell in human biology who wrote “a single cell is more beautiful and improbable than the solar system.”