Dykes on Mykes Radio Archives: From Live Shows to Podcasting

Taking a Stand conference (Ottawa)
Library Archives Canada

This paper focuses on archiving as a form of activism within a lesbian community-radio context. What we intend to do is initiate a conversation about the different ways in which traditional radio and, more recently, podcasting, inform the triadic relationship between media activism, lesbian communities, and queer archives. More specifically, we discuss the Dykes on Mykes Archive Project—a project based in Montréal, which aims to preserve the longest-running Anglophone lesbian radio programme. Dykes on Mykes has been on the air for 18 years as part of McGill University’s CKUT 90.3 FM community station in Montréal.

We begin this exploration by situating the Dykes on Mykes Archive Project within the broader Canadian gay and lesbian archives context; we look specifically at the place of lesbians within our established GLBT history. Secondly, we describe and outline some of the goals of this project, and engage in a discussion about how podcasting informs community, and how it pushes us to re-conceptualize the ways that we record our collective history. We end our presentation with a conversation, or question, about archiving as a form of activism.

This paper combines a range of approaches, from oral history interviews with long-standing GLBT archivists, participatory action research (from the point of view of the radio programmers and producers) as well as an analysis and practical how-to guide to podcasting within a community environment.

Mél Hogan is currently in her 1st year of the Joint PhD in Communication at Concordia University. Her work focuses on queer women’s oral histories and gay and lesbian archives in Canada. She is also involved in various community media projects, namely Dykes on Mykes radio, artthreat.net and nomorepotlucks.org.

Marie-Claire MacPhee is a recent graduate from the Simone de Beauvoir Institute for Women’s Studies at Concordia University. She is an activist, with a focus on community-based research and media, co-host for CKUT Community Radio’s program Dykes on Mykes and she is a researcher and events coordinator for www.nomorepotlucks.org, a web-based ‘portal of proclivities for queer women in Montreal’.