14–15 October 2022. Krakow, Poland
WG2 Meeting “Traces of inequality: Tracing hidden rural history”

This event consists of an online WG2 Working Group Meeting and a hybrid workshop about visual & material traces of resistance hidden in the landscape. It focuses on serfdom crosses – almost forgotten monuments of peasant freedom across Eastern Europe. #tractsresearch

6–7 October 2022. Madrid, Spain
WG1 and WG3 Meeting “Tracing (climate) crisis, visualizing change: Reimagining & activating a counter-atlas of the trace”

Tracing (climate) crisis, visualizing change: Reimagining & activating a counter-atlas of the trace

In this joint meeting, members of Working Groups 1 & 3 will discuss the elaboration of TRACTS (counter) atlas, thus initiating the TRACTS Atlas Curatorial Collective that will oversee the elaboration of the TRACTS Atlas, its articulation with the proposed book series, and its utility for the network’s broader mentoring goals. The two-day event will include separate workshop sessions for members of WG1 and WG3 that focus on the elaboration and discussion of pertinent bibliography regarding each group’s specific area of analysis and their connections with mapping, tracing, and creating atlas-inspired visualizations regarding the ethical, methodological, and conceptual approaches to the trace. #tractsresearch

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


International Workshop, Zagreb, Croatia, 9–10 September 2022

The international workshop Radical Heritage: Tracing Resistance in (Post)Socialist Europe was held in Zagreb on September 8 and 9, as part of the Working group 2: Traces and social justice. The workshop was organized by Sanja Horvatinčić (Institute of Art History) and Rui Gomes Coelho (Durham University). The event was supported by the Institute of Art History, and the Zagreb Architects Association.

Participants: Nenad Lajbenšperger, Eric Ušić, Lana Balorda, Patricia Manos, Martina Bobinac, Iva Jelušić, Petra Šarin, Rui Gomes Coelho, Marijana Hameršak, Frauke Mogli Seebass, Inês Moreira, Nela Milić, Bojan Mrđenović, David A. Calf, Sanja Horvatinčić.

The program of the workshop & the Book of Abstracts.

From the Call for Papers:

How do people make sense of wartime remains in today's societies?
How do heritage professionals mediate traces of war in community-based projects?
How do contemporary debates such as epistemic decolonization, new authoritarianisms and nationalisms influence the relationship between heritage professionals and communities?

Participants of this WG2 workshop explored the role of materiality in the construction of heritage discourses grounded on the Second World War, and other 20th century revolutionary, military and social conflicts. We are interested in surveying recent developments in the multidisciplinary field of critical heritage studies, and in exchanging experiences across different methodological traditions with a focus on the concept of trace in the context of modern conflicts. This should encourage us to rethink the role of heritage professionals in communities that are dealing with the legacies of recent conflicts or exposed once again to the threat of unrestricted violence. With this workshop we want to explore the ways in which we can critically mobilize the traces of conflict to support and advance claims for social justice.

12–14 August 2022. Ralsko, Czech Republic
WG3 Training School 'Tracing and dwelling in post-anthropocentric landscapes' organised by dr Petr Gibas, Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences

How do we trace environmental destruction and its social impacts within a landscape?

What use do and should social sciences and humanities make of traces of the past, and of potential futures, when studying landscapes in transformation?

How we as scientists (and embodied beings) acknowledge, conceptualize and methodologically use more-than-human properties of landscapes?

The first TRACTS training school, coordinated by the Working Group 4 on Traces and Climate Change, focused on conceptual and methodological issues related to more-than-human entanglements constitutive of landscape and ensuing challenges for research. The aim was to explore innovative methodological avenues for engaging with traces of transformation in/of a post-mining / post-military landscape.

The training school took place in an area impacted by long term exploitation by military and mining operations including underground mining and in-situ leaching of uranium. It brought together participants from six COST Member countries to get a hands-on experience of the landscape to discuss and explore innovative methodological avenues for acknowledging and researching traces of past and present transformation as well as open futures. It allowed space for creative re-thinking of research practices and methodologies by means of conceptual as well as hands-on explorations led by practitioners from academia and the arts. #tractsresearch

Photograph by dr Petr Gibas, Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences
Photograph by dr Laura Roe, University of St Andrews
Photograph by dr Laura Roe, University of St Andrews
Photograph by dr Laura Roe, University of St Andrews
Photograph by dr Laura Roe, University of St Andrews

17 June, Exeter, UK
WG4 Meeting on “Technologies and traces of memories” 

This interdisciplinary workshop kicked off the activities of WG4 on traces and technology. It included interdisciplinary presentations exploring the interplay between memory practices and technological advances. The workshop was organised by dr Nikita Chiu, Senior Lecturer in Innovation Policy at SITE, University of Exeter. #tractsresearch

13–15 May 2022, Warsaw, Poland, Academy of Fine Arts
WG2 Meeting on “Traces of sisterhood”

The workshop 'Traces of sisterhood' was a three-day meeting initiating a long-term project on tracing sisterhood as a form of social organisation. It explored the meanings of this concept, the ways in which it manifests itself, and how it could generate new forms of practice in the local communities and globally. #tractsresearch