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.
Funding: The organization can provide funding for a limited group of proposals. More information will be offered after the selection process.
TRACTS MC meeting this year took place at Ethnographic Museum in Kraków on the 8th of March. Participants discussed plans, decided about details of futures events and working plans. Afternoon all group inspired by artist Eliza Proszczuk took part in joint embroidery of a tablecloth talking about traces of sisterhood.
Participants of Management Committee voted for change on the position of Science Communication Coordinator. After one year of work made by Eliza Proszczuk (thank you, Eliza!) this will be done by Magdalena Zych and Bahanur Nasya. The other topic of work: future toolkit for museums, structures of training schools, TRACTS counterAtlas, plans for 3 and 4 year of cooperation. The meeting was held in hybrid form.
Rui Gomes Coelho wrote about the exhibition at Ethnographic Museum:
"The show brings visibility to the histories of women that entered the museum collection in the form of everyday objects, political documents, visual representations, and family narratives. A timely and powerful political statement in Poland and Europe."
The evening passed at the soundTRACTS event by DJ and sound artist Joanna Grochulska, the concert was connected with exhibition POWERBANK/ The Strength of Women.
Meeting in Malta
(The meeting agenda can be found at Malta 20/21 Jan 2023)
Summary of proceedings of formal meetings held as arranged at St Martin's Institute, Malta (SMI) with thanks to Mr Charles Theuma (Principal) and the IT/catering support team at SMI, and to COST for financial support that made the meeting possible.
While the agenda advanced in the meeting invitation was broadly covered, the sequence of discussions and activities varied in the event. A Zoom recording of the proceedings is archived by SMI. Credit to all participants, but notably Noviki team, for photographs and video recordings.
List of WG Attendees in Person:
Bahanur Naysa (WG5 Leader and Co-Chair); David Bevan (Co-Chair); Eliza Proszczuk; Menna Hendawy; Nurinisa Esenbuga; Mustafa Yaprak; Magdalene Zych; Marcin Nowicki; and Katarzyna Nestorwicz.
On Friday 20 January
Introductions: David Bevan (for SMI) opened the meeting, welcoming WG5 members attending in person. Introductions and interests were identified and discussed. Johathan Barbara (WG1 and the only other current member of this action from Malta) also joined at this point. (90 mins)
The group discussed drawing up a process manual for the use of other WG so that each group has a model for regular and independent communication updates. The manual is in development and a further report on progress will come (here) in a February news update. There were frequent references to 'the glossary' which is being compiled by WG1, 2, 3 and 4 for the benefit of Atlas and significant further discussion of potential codes/terms. (90 min)
Over lunch and beyond, we extensively reviewed the activities of each WG (representatives of each group were present). (120 min)
The group left the meeting room (and stopped hybrid/recording) at 3pm for a visit to the Virtual Reality Lab at SMI. Jonathan Barbara introduced how VR has been adopted for experiential simulation in respect of anthropological traces. The group was given demonstrations of a fully developed VR model of a local archeological relic - The Hypogeum in Paola, Malta. David Bevan then described briefly, and with reference to Paul Ricoeur's concept of "the trace" (as an antecedent to all archives, and all history) the value of a compelling, theoretical/intellectual underpinning to the interests of the Action. On screen, Jonathan Barbara then demonstrated a maquette and a development version of SMI's proposed time-elapse map of Malta from mid 17th century to present. This map focuses - for the sake of having an example - on the microsite of what was originally an olive grove, and which has developed into a large town over ensuing centuries of varied occupation and use. The features of this map are based on historic maps of Malta from C1650 to present day, and could be the basis of an approach to realising at least one aspect of a prototype Atlas. (>60 min)
Saturday 21 January
We opened with a round table discussion of what we each know of the other WG in which we are involved. We considered extensively how we can support the action concretely by reference to WG5 concerns. With the benefit of Noviki team being present, we were able to work collaboratively on the communications channels and technology in real time. Gabi Neagu joined the meeting via Zoom. (180 min).
After lunch a series of direct actions and responsibilities were agreed principally to engage optimally and effectively with the other Action participants. It was agreed that to encourage activity and participation, a monthly prize might be offered for the least communicative group (out of 1, 2, 3, 4): the prize would be determined by Noviki. On line materials for WG5 concerning this meeting were uploaded in the remaining 2 hours. WG5 will host a monthly online meeting - WG5 Leader will send Zoom invitations subsequently - for the first Tuesday of every month for the rest of 2023 at noon CET.
The meeting closed at 4pm.
Timing: 10.00-15.00hrs (CET) Friday 20, and Saturday 21 January 2023
Venue: Boardroom. Second Floor, New Building, St Martin's Institute, 116 Triq Joe Sciberras, Hamrun, HMR1557
Organizers: David Bevan (WG5 Co-Chair, Host) and Bahanur Nasya (WG5 Leader and Co Chair)
Hybrid participation is available.
Friday 20 Jan
10.00 Team and member introductions
11.00 working procedures for WG5
12:00 Thorough review of TRACTS agenda and activities and of WG5 supporting actions, commitments and members. Scope and limits of communications and supporting technology
13.00 Lunch break
14.00 Relations with TRACTS WG 1 & 2 and functional communication channels including hybrid contributions
14.30 Relations with TRACTS WG 3 & 4 and functional communication channels including hybrid contributions
15.00 Completing / updating web entries & newsletter & social media actions
Saturday 21 Jan
10.00 Meetings (hybrid) as arranged and scheduled with other TRACTS participants and supporters to plan communications activities and communications for 2023 onwards
12:00 Lunch break
13.00 Presentation of the action to local people/hybrid/recorded
15.00 Summarise proceedings and actions agreed
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.
What are the ethical challenges of tracing temporalities and researching collections in museums and earth archives?
We are delighted to invite you to the hybrid TRACTS workshop of WG2 and WG3.
WHEN: 27 - 28 April 2023
WHERE: Berlin and Potsdam
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP: 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 imagination of nature that can be contained and classified. Ethnographic collections acquired to represent peoples and cultures have rendered them as if frozen in time. Conservation practice has worked to keep objects timeless, reflecting the moment they entered the collection. This ahistorical perspective is entangled with coloniality and continues to affect collections' classification, safekeeping, and interpretation. This poses ethical challenges for both collections comprising ethnographic objects and those acquired in earth archives, holding records of human and more-than-human pasts.
Collections seek to tell a coherent story about “nature” or “culture” from traces of social lives and geological formations. However, these traces and their environments defy and challenge the classificatory efforts and measurement practices. Although collections are kept to span through time, their objects are not timeless. They require vast energy, materials, and infrastructure. The cost of prolonging the lives of things and keeping collections stable in museums and scientific archives creates ethical dilemmas regarding resource management, preservation, and sustainability.
Organized by the COST Action “Trace as a Research Agenda for Climate Change, Technology Studies, and Social Justice” (TRACTS), we critically explore the ethics of collections in museums and geological archives through the lens of temporality. The event seeks to ignite an interdisciplinary exchange between the disparate fields of inquiry in the critical studies of different forms of collections and archives. Using a range of case studies of collections and (earth) archives, we dig into the ethics of acquisition, preservation, interpretation, use, and re-activation of this material today and explore its potential for the future.
COORDINATORS: Magdalena Buchczyk, Martin Fonck, Tina Palaic and Tomas Uson
HOW TO JOIN:
TRACTS members and interested members of the public can our event online
Meeting ID: 837 5454 3844
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.
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. #tractsresearchCOST-Program-WEB_WG1-Meeting_LISBON