Disturbing Pasts: Memories, Controversies and Creativity

‘Disturbing Pasts: Memories, Controversies and Creativity’

Conference homepage: www.open.ac.uk/Arts/disturbing-pasts/

We are pleased to announce the details of the conference ‘Disturbing Pasts: Memories, Controversies and Creativity’ at the Museum of Ethnology, Vienna, on the 20th to 22nd November, 2012. This is part of a two-year international research project led by Dr Leon Wainwright (The Open University, UK; www.open.ac.uk/Arts/arthistory/wainwright.shtml ) and funded by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area, the European Science Foundation).

‘Disturbing Pasts’ brings together artists, photographers, curators, policy makers and academics from around the world, with the aim of networking with one another and exploring creative engagements with controversial and traumatic pasts in art practice, curating and museums.

Our theme:      Traumatic pasts have complex and often dramatic influences on the present. In many countries, legacies of war, colonialism, genocide and oppression return again and again to dominate contemporary politics, culture and society. The controversies surrounding traumatic pasts can shape policy, make or break governments, trigger mass demonstrations, and even spark violent confrontation. These pasts also inspire rich visual and creative responses, through which the past is remembered, remade and challenged, and the public space of the modern museum is the primary venue for these responses.

Confirmed speakers include artists, curators, policy-makers and academics:
Peju Layiwola, Dierk Schmidt, T. Shanaathanan, Christopher Cozier, Rita Duffy, Paul Lowe, Rafał Betlejewski, Joanna Rajkowska, Heather Shearer, John Timberlake, Shan McAnena, Sofia Dyak, Wayne Modest, Liv Ramskjær, Maria Six-Hohenbalken, Margit Berner, Clara Himmelheber, Maruska Svasek, Fiona Magowan, Alexander Etkind, Uilleam Blacker, Andrij Portnow, Elizabeth Edwards, Sigrid Lien, Susan Legêne, Annette Hoffmann, Erica Lehrer, Simon Faulkner, Carol Tulloch

‘Disturbing Pasts’ marks a collaboration between three HERA-sponsored research consortia drawn from universities throughout Europe, in partnership with the Museum of Ethnology, Vienna. They are:
o       ‘Creativity and Innovation in a World of Movement’ (CIM) www.qub.ac.uk/sites/CreativityandInnovationinaWorldofMovement/
o       ‘Photographs, Colonial Legacy and Museums in Contemporary European Culture’ (PhotoCLEC) www.heranet.info/photoclec/index
o       ‘Memory at War’ (MAW) www.memoryatwar.org/

The project will publish its scholarly and creative work in a special issue of the Open Arts Journal (www.openartsjournal.org), and the conference will generate audio-visual material to be made available through the Open Arts Archive (www.openartsarchive.org).

Entrance to the conference is free, but places are limited, and so we ask that you please reserve in advance by writing to Julia Binter, Julia.Binter@ethno-museum.ac.at

Committee members for the project include: Dr Leon Wainwright (The Open University, UK), Dr Barbara Plankensteiner (Museum of Ethnology, Vienna), Dr Maruska Svasek (Queen’s University, Belfast), Professor Elizabeth Edwards (De Montfort University, Leicester), Dr Alexander Etkind and Dr Uilleam Blacker (University of Cambridge).

The project ‘Disturbing Pasts: Memories, Controversies and Creativity’ is financially supported by the HERA Joint Research Programme which is co-funded by AHRC, AKA, DASTI, ETF, FNR, FWF, HAZU, IRCHSS, MHEST, NWO, RANNIS, RCN, VR and The European Community FP7 2007-2013, under the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities programme.

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