Peripheral memories and transnational mobilities

30 September–1 October 2022. Lisbon, Portugal
WG1 Meeting “Peripheral memories and transnational mobilities: Decolonial approaches to the material and visual traces of empire” 

In this Meeting, members of WG1 will discuss and share methodological, ethical, and theoretical approaches to understanding and analyzing the concept of the trace across multiple disciplines, particularly history, anthropology, migration studies, museum studies, and areas of artistic research and production. 

During the 20th century, countries in Southern Europe experienced a wave of dictatorships. Many of these projects also reinforced and/or contributed to projects of empire. Building on Michael Rothberg’s concept of “multidirectional memory,” which draws attention to how memory narratives in the public sphere are subject to forms of negotiation, mediation, and cross-referencing this meeting considers how artists, researchers, and activists engage with the material and visual traces of empire to articulate new forms of narrating and understanding the past, where multiple histories of violence can exist in dialogue. Thinking critically with concepts such as “periphery,” “semi-periphery,” and “contact zone,” the meeting will focus on how artists, researchers, activists, and practitioners are rethinking the politics of historical knowledge production while also reimagining how we engage with the traces of empire in ways that are decolonial, antiracist, and radical. 

The meeting will bring together early to mid-career researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds to present and discuss ongoing work on decolonial approaches to the visual and material traces of empire. Interrogating the categories of “periphery” and “semi-periphery,” the discussions will focus on how Southern Europe constitutes a unique contact zone, where a multiplicity of histories and experiences co-exist and overlap. Focusing on how communities, objects, and images move in, around, and cross different spaces, the meeting will consider how interrogating the visual and material traces of “empire” can be a point of departure for reimagining forms of political contestation, action, and reparation.  Combining internal working group sessions with public-facing programming, this event will open dialogue amongst artists, researchers, and decolonial activists whose work proposes innovative and radical approaches to rethinking the memories and histories of colonialism in Southern Europe. #tractsresearch

TRACTS COST Action (20134) on "Traces as Research Agenda for Climate Change, Technology Studies, and Social Justice"