An Interview with BAVC Media’s Preservation Fellow: Guadalupe Martinez

Published On: June 21, 2022 |

Get to know BAVC Media’s Preservation Fellow, Guadalupe Martinez!

We’d like to introduce Guadalupe Martinez as our 2022 Preservation Fellow! Guadalupe was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, and is a recent graduate from San Jose State University’s MLIS program. They have worked in libraries, community education, and community organizing in Southern California. We’re super excited to be hosting her at BAVC for the rest of the year for our Fellowship program. As part of this program, Guadalupe will be digitizing and assessing audiovisual collections held by local community organizations. We’ll be teaching Guadalupe everything we know about digitizing and preserving tape-based media. The learning and teaching will be a two-way street, as we expect to learn a lot from Guadalupe during the process.

BAVC Media: When did you first cross paths with BAVC and what about the organization’s mission and vision resonates with you?

Guadalupe: In addition to my public library experience, I worked with Justice For My Sister as an instructor this year teaching a youth-focused filmmaking 101 curriculum. It was a full circle for me because back in 2018, I was a student filmmaker with their advanced program. In weeks, I learned how to operate equipment and the fundamental roles on set: writer, director, DP, lighting, sound – which was my favorite thing to do. The gap in between these experiences with JFMS, I completed my MLIS and took a few roles in library advocacy and social media outreach. I was lucky enough to stumble on the BAVC Preservation account post about their open applications. I felt like I just had to seize the opportunity and run!

BAVC Media: How did you get into the world of archival and preservation? 

Guadalupe: I stumbled right into it in the last few months, but only after some years of trial and error. Before I started my MLIS program, I volunteered with Cal State LA for a few weeks to help with small projects in the Special Collections department. I genuinely enjoyed working with my hands making book jackets and sifting through university papers to create new research collections. Until this past year, I focused on public librarianship and community archives and trying to carve a space to engage all my skills and interests. 

BAVC Media: Give me your perspective on the current state of Latinas in the film industry.

Guadalupe: I’d want to see more ownership in the film industry, in whatever way that takes shape. I’m grateful to have met some incredible nonbinary folks and women of color involved in film, music, the arts in many ways – and with many moving on to own their own studios, lead non-profit organizations, and organize for causes. I would love to see the conversation shift from desiring representation in a cismale WASP dominated industry, to creating within and for our own communities. It also would not hurt to make space in the conversation unpacking what Latinx identity means – especially in how we write characters, hire talent and crew, and award their labor. Lorde said ‘the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house’ and I really believe that it applies everywhere.

BAVC Media: Why is preserving and digitizing magnetic media urgent and important?

Guadalupe: When I applied for this fellowship, I spoke about growing up first-generation. I feel that I sum it up into a few reasons why: time keeps marching on, cost of storage space, climate change, and politicized access to archives. I think most people can understand media obsolescence – as new tech is made, the old tech falls out. But I also see how rising temperatures, depletion of natural and necessary resources, and the cost of maintaining storage for them is not sustainable. The people that hurt the most are those who do not have the means to save and access their collections and we miss out on a piece of history. For all these reasons, I so appreciate that BAVC Preservation takes into account local cultural memory and invests in partnerships that reduce the barriers to preservation. 

BAVC Media: What are you currently watching? Reading? Listening to? Give us 1 of each.

Guadalupe: I just wrapped up the new-ish Anthony Bourdain documentary, Roadrunner. I’m getting through the audiobook version of Kindred, which has been on my must-read list for years. The hot-cold weather that I’m quickly adjusting to in the Bay Area is all to the tune of Angel Olsen’s Big Time — all bangers, no skips.

BAVC Media: Thanks for taking time to share a little bit more about yourself,  Guadalupe! We couldn’t be more excited and honored to have you on the team.