This summer saw the conclusion of ‘Disturbing Pasts: Memories, Controversies and Creativity’, an international research project led by Leon Wainwright (Department of Art History, The Open University, UK) which began in December 2011. (For an overview of the project, visit: www.open.ac.uk/Arts/disturbing-pasts/ )
The main focus of Disturbing Pasts was a major conference that took place over three days at the Museum of Ethnology, Vienna (recently renamed Weltmuseum Vienna) on 20-22 November 2012. The majority of speakers were from outside academia, the event was free to attend and widely publicised, while ample time was allowed for discussion and interaction with the audience and for networking among participants. It consisted of panels of highly-illustrated presentations on five distinct yet complementary themes. Each panel combined speakers from the three selected groupings of stakeholders (artists, curators and academics) and saw a productive exchange between them.
The sessions were filmed by technicians from The Open University and an audio-visual record of speakers’ presentations is now available at the Open Arts Archive (www.openartsarchive.org) Click on the links below for each presentation, available by ‘open access’.
Panel 1, ‘Cultural Loss and Fragmented Heritage’, began with two presentations from the artists Peju Layiwola (Lagos, Nigeria) and T. Shanaathanan (Jaffna, Sri Lanka), who showed how historical episodes of violence and the removal of cultural property – a British punitive expedition of 1897, and conflict in Sri Lanka – have been explored in each artist’s creative practice, as well as those of their peers. The curator Shan McAnena (Naughton Gallery, Queen’s University Belfast) evaluated recent curatorial attempts to reconnect the city of Belfast to the troubled memory of the Titanic. The visual anthropologist Elizabeth Edwards (De Montfort Leicester) and art historian Simon Faulkner (Manchester Metropolitan University) responded with a related critical debate on museum practice and colonial archives across the UK, and issues of public memory that are raised by paintings of Gerhard Richter recalling the history of Left-wing extremism in 1970s Germany.
A Symposium at the Library of Congress
Sept. 26-27, 2013
The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress will hold a symposium entitled Cultural Heritage Archives: Networks, Innovation & Collaboration on Sept. 26-27, 2013.
The symposium is free and open to the public. Cultural heritage archives serve as valuable repositories of memory and knowledge that document the ongoing community-based creativity of individuals and groups. During the past decade, there has been an increasing acknowledgement of the value and power of developing such archives at all levels, from very local and informal collections to large national and international repositories.
The Cultural Heritage Archives symposium aims to energize the discussion of ethnographic archival thought and practice by presenting fresh and dynamic strategies for contemporary archival realities. It will also provide a forum for new voices to present and discuss emerging archival initiatives as well as case studies focused on several key topics for a public audience. The symposium will combine longer presentations by invited speakers with short papers generated through this call.
Applications due 25 January 2013
AHRC Cultural Engagement Fund: A people-centred approach to understanding cultural social media activities through the case study of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums. A self-directed, motivated Postdoctoral Research Assistant is required to work with the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies in Newcastle University and Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums (TWAM) to evaluate user engagement through TWAM’s social media platforms. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Cultural Engagement fund and aims to produce a focused piece of research on digital audience engagement through social media platforms with a view to inform TWAM’s social media strategy.
The postdoctoral researcher will work with the project’s academic supervisor and the institutional partner to:
. carry out a focused qualitative user-study of TWAM’s social media applications, including workshops with users and interviews with stakeholders;
. inform the development of TWAM’s social media strategy by
providing a written report on the impact of the institution’s social
media activities for its audiences/stakeholders;
. disseminate the findings of the research in a training event for GLAM institutions in a regional and national context in Newcastle upon Tyne in spring 2013;
. contribute to professional and academic publications if appropriate; and,
. participate in training events indentified in collaboration with the academic supervisor and the institutional partner.