Traces of Inequality – Tracing Hidden Rural History

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.

Traces of Sisterhood exhibition

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.

Traces of inequality: Tracing hidden rural history

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

Radical Heritage: Tracing Resistance in (Post)Socialist Europe

International Workshop, 9–10 September 2022

Zagreb, Croatia

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?

There is a growing interest for the materiality of social struggles and modern warfare among heritage practitioners across the world, especially in contexts in which materiality opens new opportunities to discuss memories and narratives that have been marginalized or silenced in the public sphere. However, the study of recent past and its materiality is still contentious in many academic contexts, such as post-socialist Europe.

The October Revolution, the workers' struggles, and the Second World War have been extensively documented and memorialized in socialist Europe. Former socialist countries pioneered documentation practices in the research or memorialization of modern warfare, often focused on the commemoration and musealization of official wartime narratives. Furthermore, the materiality of war and antifascist resistance was an important component of artistic and architectural practices across postwar Europe. These practices aimed at a new understanding of the past, and new ways of memorializing wartime events by emphasizing the affective potential of sites and objects.

In some socialist countries, such as Yugoslavia, traces of war encouraged the creativity of heritage professionals (historians, art historians, ethnographers), and stakeholders (museums, local communities). This interest strongly influenced heritage policies and concepts, as well as the aesthetics of memorial structures commemorating the Second World War. However, after the collapse of socialism, political interests of heritage authorities in former socialist countries switched towards different, often opposing historical episodes and narratives. These narratives aimed at strengthening national identities in opposition to the socialist projects. Traces of antifascist resistance and social struggles of the 20th century were challenged, abandoned, or destroyed, creating yet another layer of political and social violence that deserves further investigation. The ongoing war in Ukraine exposed multifaceted and contradictory narratives built on the heritage of the Second World War, which include the mobilization of antifascist discourse to legitimize nationalism, and the destruction of wartime memorials.

Participants of this WG2 workshop explore 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.

Traces of sisterhood workshop

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