We are thrilled to announce the official launch of the TRACTS COST Action's Practicing Collection Ethics toolkit. The toolkit aims to go beyond formal guidelines and codes of ethics. By posing questions and illustrating them with real-world examples, it serves as catalyst for reflection on ethical dilemmas for curators and other museum and archive professionals.
Contributors of case studies included: Diego Ballestero, Víctor Barros, Hana Curak, Ayesha Fuentes, Susanne Kass, Michel Lee, Katharina Nowak, Órla O'Donovan, Róisín O'Gorman, Tina Palaić& Petra Šarin
The toolkit was edited by Tina Palaić, Magdalena Buchczyk, Aimée Joyce
Graphic design by Melissa Cerić
How to track and trace responsibly?
How to make technologies of tracking and tracing ethical and sustainable?
Hybrid WG 4 Meeting
Dates: 30 June – 1 July 2023
Venue: University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Department of Geography, Ilica 242, HR-10000 Zagreb
Following on from the capacity building of WG4 and the promotion of commonalities identified at the exploratory workshop in Exeter and the training school in Ancona, this meeting will provide an opportunity for members of WG to apply the skills developed at the capacity building event to consolidate the interdisciplinary dialogue. The planned outcome will be a policy-relevant edited volume/special issue. It will include recommendations on how to use new technologies to address global challenges (e.g. climate change, ensuring global transparency in governance) in a responsible and sustainable way (e.g. tools to identify AI-enabled (fake) images or the introduction of smart collection of "track-and-trace" data to ensure that privacy is respected). Members will benefit from the opportunity to synergise and reconcile disciplinary differences to advance a book or special issue project. The event is focused on solving future global problems using historical data/traces and is a good place to establish best practises that facilitate meaningful interdisciplinary discussions, especially between applied scientists and professionals in the arts or humanities. The event will provide a forward-looking, discipline-neutral framework for synthesising different visions for the responsible use of traces and new technologies. The meeting will also include ideas and discussions on a new toolkit for the use of technologies in traces, which will be coordinated by WG4. The event will contribute to Research Coordination Objectives 1, 2, 3 and 5, and Capacity Building Objective 2 (see Memorandum of Understanding for more information).
Coordinated by leaders of the WG4: Dr Nikita Chiu and Dr Ivan Sulc
Host and local organizer: Dr Ivan Sulc, Assistant Professor, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Department of Geography
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
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.