The arqive/L-bar: Battling the Erasure of Queer Histories through Immersive Participatory Storytelling

Panel Conversation, All Ages
King Hall, Cal State LA

5151 State University Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90032

This program is a presentation and dialogue around the collaboration between two online immersive repositories, The arqive and L-bar, to discuss and demonstrate the potential of interactive, multimedia, digital storytelling for preserving queer histories. 

The program will begin with a demonstration of both online sites and offer audience members an opportunity to post their own stories to The arqive and explore L-bar. The program will conclude with dialogue around the use of interactive media, in partnership with community institutions and individuals, to generate interpretations and shared memories of queer history both in space and time. Through these storytelling efforts, the project hopes to build solidarity and community, resist the erasure of queer histories and narratives, and expand our understanding of our own queer heritages.

This program will take place on October 26, 2023, 3:00-4:30 PM at the Cal State LA Campus, King Hall, Wing B, Room B4017 on the 4th floor. Guests can get a day pass in Lot C, which is across the street from the Luckman.

Participant Bios

Cynthia Wang, PhD is an associate professor of Communication Studies at Cal State LA. She is interested in the impact of digital communication technologies on social relations, cultural practices, and power dynamics. Her work can be found in such journals as Social Media + Society and Time & Society. She is an author and co-editor of the books Indie Games in the Digital Age (Bloomsbury), Communicating Across Difference: Negotiating Identity, Privilege, and Marginalization in the 21st Century (Cognella), and Perceptions of East Asian and Asian North American Athletics (Palgrave). She is the founder of The arqive, a digital LGBTQ storytelling map.

Zachary Vernon, MFA is an award winning graphic designer, storyteller, and educator specializing in branding and creative strategy. He has worked at agencies big and small in both Australia and the US for clients ranging from global brands to local mom-and-pop shops, and won numerous industry awards. In 2014, he started his own creative agency, Drawn This Way, where he and his partner work on creative projects for non-profit organizations and entrepreneurial ventures. Zachary’s research and professional work center authentic identities and visual storytelling through collaboration.

Elena Rosa is a visual artist, performer, and immersive events art director. She created L-Bar, the first interactive, virtual, lesbian and queer women’s storyworld. She recently completed virtual worlds for Sundance New Frontier and Pop Culture Collaborative. Elena has garnered the prestigious Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg emerging artist award. Her art work has appeared in gallery’s including the Los Angeles Municipal Art gallery, and Disney Red Cat in Los Angeles. She is a founding member of Seven Stories Collective, a design and arts studio based in Los Angeles.

This program is organized by The arqive and L-bar as part of the 2023 Circa: Queer Histories Festival, presented by One Institute.

  • Cal State LA transforms lives and fosters thriving communities across greater Los Angeles. We cultivate and amplify our students' unique talents, diverse life experiences, and intellect through engaged teaching, learning, scholarship, research, and public service that support their overall success, well-being, and the greater good.

  • The arqive is an online map of queer stories (histories, herstories, theirstories) and resources created and collected by and for queer people all around the world, providing the full range of queer stories from historical/archival to personal by geolocating them and digitally preserving them.