Logo for Saffron: An LGBTQ+ SWANA Archive

Mission Statement

Saffron is an LGBTQ+ Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) archive designed by Coptic-American Lesbian artist and independent archivist Caitlin (kt) Abadir-Mullally. The archive documents, preserves, and shares access to celebration, stories, and moments of joy by diasporic, queer SWANA artists and creators. Saffron is a cherished spice that is versatile in dying fabrics, coloring and flavoring cuisine across the world and involvement with ritual that brings us close to the divine. These qualities mirror my experience of the LGBTQ+ SWANA diaspora. I am passionate about documenting stories from within the community and the agency of the living to decide how their narratives are preserved. Saffron was incubated during my fellowship with YallaPunk in 2021. This archive is funded by the Leeway Art and Change Grant and will be expanded during a residency with Sinister Wisdom in 2022.

What is in the archive?

In building Saffron, I established an appraisal criteria. In archives, appraisal is the process in which we decide whether or not records should be included in the archive. All records in Saffron fit the following criteria.

Criteria 1: Relating to the experiences of individuals of Southwest Asian and North African origin or descent, either by identity of the author, creator, or contributor. Southwest Asia and North Africa are loosely defined as the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Criteria 2: Relating to the experiences of individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, either by identity of the author, creator, or contributor. The LGBTQ+ Community is described as anyone who experiences gender or sexuality outside of the cisgender and heterosexual experience.

Criteria 3: Expresses an expansive point of view inspired by lived experience* The purpose of the Saffron Archives is to empower LGBTQ+ SWANA people and voices. Therefore, we do not collect stories that have narrow points of view or are written from voyeuristic perspectives.

Get in touch! Email me at caitlinabadirmullally@gmail.com

2020 - Present