Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne
June 1-2, 2023 Climate Change Working Group
[Image: Le rebrousse-poll, nº 6-7, 1978. Archive Contestataires]
Archives are spaces of conflict where history and memory are constantly disputed. They tend to reproduce the political and cultural power of modernity. Yet, since the 1970s they have been largely challenged by post-structuralist critics, feminism, queer theory and decolonial discourses, among others, which have detected the exclusions, authoritarianism and epistemological roughness that traditionally operate in archival practice. At the same time, from these nodes of knowledge, various ways of subverting archives have been suggested, with proposals for counter-archives and anarchives. In the current context of ecological and energy crisis, it becomes urgent to include the ecosocial approach in the equation of critical analysis of the archive and its technologies. This workshop aims to question where, with which intensities, and how the traces of the ecological movement are studied and disseminated at the international level.
This two-day meeting intends to open a space to approach the traces of environmentalism without temporal or geographical restriction by three different, though complementary, ways.
In order to explore this approach to the question of ecological and environmental archiving, we call for the participation of ecologists, historians, archivists, anthropologists, artists, curators and, in general, professionals whose activity is closely related to the archives of environmentalism, to present their experiences and share their methodologies and work proposals. Researchers and archivists at an early stage of their career are especially encouraged to participate.
Proposals can be related to the following topics: Environmental History, Archival Methodologies, Grassroots Memory and Ecology, Situated Ecologism (located in specific territories and chronologies), Ways of activating/disseminating the archive, Environmental Corruption, Toxicity, Energy, Territorial Defense, etc.
One of the fundamental objectives of the meeting is to develop a methodology of collective curatorship around one or more subjects that have played a leading role in the history of environmental activism at an international level. In order to do so, an online space will be set up to share documents and materials on this common history. Some suggested topic are: anti-nuclear movement, fight against asbestos, air pollution or pesticides, agroecology, cleaner production or renewal energy. Along with the proposals for participation, please provide ideas or preferences of the materials on which you want to work or you could provide documents (digital reproductions).
The deadline for submitting an abstract of 300 words (maximum), a biography of 100 words (maximum) and a thematic proposal/preference for the collective curatorial process is March 31, 2023. The submission will be made through this form and during the first week of April the candidates will receive an affirmative or negative answer about their proposal.
The format of the interventions will be detailed after the selection of the proposals.
Funding: The organization can provide funding for a limited group of proposals. More information will be offered after the selection process.
We are pleased to announce the forthcoming meeting to discuss the TRACTS publishing futures.
The online meeting will take place online on the 8th of March during the afternoon session of the MC meeting in Cracow. The participants will discuss the plans for the book series envisioned as the Action's legacy. During the meeting, three interdisciplinary and international academic publishers will be identified. The participants will also identify the initial proposed titles. Lastly, the meeting will set out a clear timeline for the next steps in establishing the series.
Please see below the Zoom details for the meeting:
ID: 852 4095 6717
Our last TRACTS Year 1 meeting is taking place on 10-11 October 2022 in the Ethnographic Museum in Cracow, Poland. The WG2 workshop focuses on various approaches to tracing visual and non-visual aspects of a landscape. The group explores a range of topics related to landscape tracking. Participants follow the paths of the landscape with short presentations outlining innovative, experimental perspectives.
By focusing on the case of peasant monuments of freedom from the 19th century in rural Central and Eastern Europe, the meeting sets out to interrogate the relations between materiality, social justice and inequality. By tracing this hidden cross-border history, we can begin to investigate the legacy of rural poverty and its entanglement with conteporary relations of violence and inequality in society today.
9 - 10 December 2022 in Ancona, Italy
Following WG4's Exeter workshop in June, we have the pleasure to bring the group's first Training School to Ancona – a port city steeped in a history of applying science and technology in policy and governance.
Trainers and trainees will benefit from this rare opportunity to learn from technology professionals who have extensive experience bringing diverse sectors together to advance a more inclusive, responsible, and sustainable future with technology.
The working speaker list includes experts from the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Università Politecnica delle Marche.
As part of the event, the trainees will visit Mole Vanvitelliana – a 18th century pentagonal structure in Ancona built on an artificial island for quarantine purposes. Commissioned by Pope Clement XII, the premise is a "living" trace of humans' history in applying technology into policy.
The structure hosts the State Tactile Homer Museum, a unique institution that traces the past through tactile objects and the sense of touch. It enables the visitors, including those with visual impairments, to share the journey of tracing as a multisensory process. The site of the training school reflects the WG's distinct priorities in promoting inclusivity and applying science and technology into practice.
The initial call for abstracts/EOI has closed for WG4. If you are interested in joining the reserve list or online participation, please contact email@example.com with the title "WG4 TRACTS Ancona".
Image by Claudio.stanco - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18803473
How do we trace the relationship between time and collections? What are the ethical challenges of researching collections in museums and earth archives?
When: April 2023
Where: Berlin and Potsdam
How to apply?
Submit your abstracts (max. 250 words) by 31 October 2022 by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A limited number of applications from early to mid-career scholars can be fully funded.
The participation in the workshop requires COST Action Membership.
Collections are sites for preserving traces of the past for the future. Acquired, cared for and interpreted in museums and archives, they have been developed concurrently with scientific disciplines. In geosciences, collections of geological and stratigraphic specimens extracted from territories worldwide have served to mark deep time. They contribute to the scientific imaginary of a nature that can be contained and classified. Ethnographic collections that originally intended to represent non-European societies, have presented peoples and cultures as if frozen in time. This ahistorical gaze is entangled with coloniality that continues to affect the classification and interpretation of collections, both ethnographic objects and those acquired in earth archives, terrestrial environments comprising records of past human and evolutionary activity.
Collections are neither inherently stable nor neutral, and their temporality raises multiple ethical questions regarding their acquisition, preservation, interpretation, and restitution. Research on collection histories has revealed the legacies of appropriation and knowledge asymmetries, as well as highlighted the importance of repatriation and repair. It sheds light on the ways in which collections and archives are frequently enmeshed with histories of violence and imperial extraction. Scientific collections, including geological specimens and ethnographic objects, are also entwined with illicit practices of knowledge production in which samples were unethically extracted from environments. The appropriation processes have also left ambiguous traces of scientific practice and voids in the spaces and societies of origin. The reconstruction and representation of nature or society from collections follows specific classification and categorization standards that can be ethically problematic as they entrench colonial relations of knowledge production and circulation. ollections seek to tell a coherent story about “nature” or “culture” from traces of social lives and geological formations. However, the incommensurability and complexity of the environments from where these traces originate defy and challenge those classificatory efforts and measurement practices. Although collections are kept to span through time, their objects are not timeless but require vast amounts of energy, materials and infrastructures. The cost of prolonging the lives of artifacts and keeping collections stable in museums and scientific archives, presents ethical challenges in terms of resource management, preservation and sustainability.
In this three-day workshop, organised by the COST Action “Trace as a Research Agenda for Climate Change, Technology Studies, and Social Justice” (TRACTS), we aim to critically explore the ethics of collections in museums and geological archives through the lens of temporality. The event seeks to initiate interdisciplinary exchange between the disparate fields of inquiry in the critical studies of different forms of collections and archives by considering the ethics of acquisition, preservation and use. We welcome presentations focusing on, but not limited to studies on:
Magdalena Buchczyk, Hermann von Helmholtz Center for Cultural Techniques, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HZK), Berlin
Martín Fonck, Institute for Advanced Studies in Sustainability, Potsdam
Tina Palaić, Slovene Ethnographic Museum, Ljubljana
Tomás Usón, Institute of European Ethnology & IRI THESys, Humboldt University of Berlin
The first part of the event will focus on social, historical, and cultural traces in collections. By highlighting a range of archival, museum and university material, the symposium will investigate the ethical implications of working with unsettling traces in collections. The speakers will consider the importance of thinking through temporality in collections, from provenance research, entangled histories, and the long-term historicities, including the relationships between carbon footprints and collections (through habits and technologies of preservation). Additional focus will be on museum practices and curatorial knowledge in former socialist countries in relation to museum collections, with an emphasis on the peripheral concepts of understanding the »other«.
The second part of the workshop will address the “sources” of collections by centering geological collections containing traces of strata sedimentation and geomorphologies. Building on the notion of earth archives, i.e., places of atmospheric deposition containing a vast amount of data of the past millennia, we expect to problematize the efforts of representing nature based on the traces these massive archives offer. We aim to reflect on the traces these earth entities leave along their way, and how these “clues” and (im)possibilities to engage with a distant past allow the construction of common futures. The geological trace, under this view, is more than stratigraphic data produced, contained, and performed by researchers and scholars. It is primarily the temporal sediment that sustains our (un)common worlds and leads to speculative anticipations of those to come.
By connecting these seemingly disparate lines of inquiry, types of collections and temporalities, we aim to develop new cross-disciplinary approaches to the ethics of collections, collecting and trace in the archive.
Peripheral Memories, Transnational Mobilities: Decolonial Approaches to Visual & Material Traces of Empire
WG2 Meeting: Traces and Social Justice in Lisbon
As part of the WG2 meeting, we are organising a public panel discussion on the theme of reparation. Please join on 30th September at 18:30 (WEST) online.
The colonial project used violence, both overtly and covertly, to reorganize and control social life. Violence was exerted on and through bodies, but also on and through objects. This public dialogue brings together scholars, artists, and activists grappling with collective calls for restitution, for the return of art objects, and for public recognition of these histories of extraction. Drawing on multiple case studies and experiences, the participants will discuss different approaches to restitution and consider how these projects take form in Southern Europe, where histories of empire and dictatorship overlap.
Inês Beleza Barreiros is a visual archaeologist. Her research interests are located at the intersection of visual culture, memory studies and decolonial theory-praxis and their articulation within the history of the Portuguese empire, in particular its contemporary modes of existence. She also holds a special interest in indigenous cosmogonies, animal studies, and trees.
Lee Douglas is a filmmaker, curator, and visual anthropologist who work considers the intersections of history, memory, and visuality in contexts marked by violence, absence, and radical political change. She currently directs the research project “Militant Imaginaries, Colonial Memories”, funded with Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship.
Emanuel Matondo is a journalist and activist, currently based in Germany. In 1998, he co-founded the Angolan Anti-Militarism Initiative for Human Rights (IAADH) where his responsibilities include research and public relations, lobbying, advocacy, and actions to promote peace.
Roger Sansi Roca is a sociocultural anthropologist and senior lecturer at the University of Barcelona. He is the author of Art, Anthropology and the Gift; The Anthropologist as Curator; and Fetishes and Monuments: Afro-Brazilian Art & Culture in the 20th Century.
Catarina Simão is an artist and researcher who lives and works between Maputo and Lisbon. Her practice is built upon long-term research projects that entail collaborative partnerships and different forms of presentation to the public. Since 2009, she has worked with the notion of Archive, engaging especially with Mozambique colonial and anti-colonial history. She co-directed a Mozambique TV film called Djambo in 2016 and in 2019 she co-organized together with Oficina de História (Mozambique) the 1st Seminar on Restitution of art and artefacts to Mozambique (CCFM, May 2019).
Organised by Lee Douglas and Inês Beleza Barreiros
Friday, April 1, 2022 – Saturday, April 2, 2022
Locations: IHC-NOVA/Colégio Almada Negreiros, Museu do Aljube – Resistência e Liberdade
In this inaugural meeting, members of our network’s Management Committee discussed and shared 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.
Based in Lisbon, the meeting focused on how researchers, activists, and artists working in and on Portugal design and implement decolonial approaches to the material and visual traces of political change. While the first day of the meeting focused on internal network coordination and future initiatives, the second day introduced participants to how the past intersects with the present in contemporary Portugal.
16th August–16th September 2022, Galeria Salon Akademii
Pałac Czapskich, Krakowskie Przedmieście st. 5, Warsaw, Poland
We are delighted to inform you that the TRACTS associate exhibition on Traces of Sisterhood is currently held at the Galeria Salon Academii in Warsaw. On show until 16 September 2022, Traces of Sisterhood exhibition focuses on contemporary art that incorporates fabric/cloth as a form of artistic gesture of sisterhood. The exhibition is curated by Eulalia Domanowska and Eliza Proszczuk, the TRACTS Science Communications Coordinator. It features artists from Poland, Ukraine, the UK and USA including Agnieszka Brzeżańska, Iwona Demko, Małgorzata Dmitruk, Kirstie Macleod, Bazyli Krasulak, Anna Nawrot, Eliza Proszczuk, Natalya Shymin, Monika Weiss, Magda Wiśniewska, Agata Zbylut and Stanisław Andrzejewski.
A related TRACTS COST Action meeting and interdisciplinary seminar on Traces of Sisterhood, was held at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. The outputs from both events can be found in the publication which will be released in 2023.