European mink. Photo: Tiit Maran. Courtesy of https://www.ecosem.ut.ee/

Dear valued TRACTS members,

We are delighted to advise that we are now able to offer a small number of our network members the opportunity to attend the Traces of Extinction: Species Loss, Solastalgia, and Semiotics of Recovery conference in Tartu, Estonia. These places will be eligible for reimbursement following the usual COST EU rules.

I appreciate the news of additional funding brings with it, very short notice to make travel arrangements, so please scroll to the end of this post for the details on how to apply.

Conference Details

June 5–7 2024, at Oecologicum at the University of Tartu, Juhan Liivi 2, 50409 Tartu

The sixth mass species extinction is one of the greatest ecological threats of our time. This conference focuses on cultural, subjective, and semiotic approaches to extinction. A subjective approach to extinction may raise the question of how we experience extinction in the shared lifeworld or semiosphere. At the same time, artistic research seems to open fresh perspectives in combining cultural creativity with environmental decline. Extinction also reduces biocultural diversity and the resilience of ecocultures. By taking a perspective through nature cultures and cultural-ecological systems, we treat extinction as the degradation of such combined systems. 

This perspective raises questions about cultural strategies that are effective in adapting to extinction, supporting endangered species, and overcoming trauma:

How is extinction perceived subjectively, both from the point of view of the dying species and the humans who witness it?

What cultural strategies can be used to raise awareness of extinction?

What means do individuals and communities have for reducing and avoiding species extinction? 

Keynote speakers:

David B. Rothenberg (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA)
Sonic Species Memory
Extinction in a world beyond mechanical reproduction

Linda Knight (RMIT University, Australia)
Mapping the multispecies cosmopolitics of extinction

Conference webpage: https://www.ecosem.ut.ee/en/valjasuremise-jaljed-konverents/
*​Non-presenting participants must register (on the webpage).

How to apply

If you would like to attend this fantastic event, then please email me on tracts@st-andrews.ac.uk with your note of interest (maximum of 150 words) no later than 4pm GMT on the 23rd June 2024.

Due to the very short turnaround, successful applicants of our network will be notified by the 24th May to allow time to make travel arrangements.

TRACTS meeting at EcoMuseo in Palermo. April 2024.

We are seeking proposals from network researchers to provide a Training Needs Assessment of early career researchers within the TRACTS COST Network.

Project Overview: The purpose of the Needs Assessment is to provide a thorough understanding of the current state of training needs among early career researchers within the TRACTS Network. The assessment aims to identify skill and knowledge gaps in research about trace and academic practice. It should encompass the design and conduct of the survey, data analysis, and recommendations. The goal is to involve a systematic approach to identifying the needs and assessing the network's capacity to address them through the future TRACTS mentoring program.

The successful proposer is expected to:

  • Design, conduct the needs assessment, and deliver recommendations to the network.
  • Collect and analyze data on the training needs of early career researchers within the network. Depending on the research design, this can include interviews, focus groups, and surveys with key stakeholders.
  • Assess training needs related to TRACTS priorities.
  • Provide a detailed report by 15th September 2024 outlining findings, trends, and recommendations for designing the TRACTS training and mentoring program.

Proposals shall be delivered to tracts@st-andrews.ac.uk by 30 May 2024.

Proposals should include a 2-page Needs Assessment project design and CV.

The Network can reimburse costs up to 500 EUR (incl. all costs).

We strongly encourage early career researchers to submit proposals.

TRACTS Meeting at Mustek station, Prague. April 2024.

25 & 26 April 2024
Museum of Modern Art Auditorium, Ljubljana
Krater, Ljubljana

With global warming hitting record highs each year, unprecedented climate disasters emerging in unexpected locations, and the prospects of more and more climate refugees, it has become clear that climate and social issues are intrinsically intertwined. These pressing conditions, manifested in different cultural practices, (re)articulate the relationships between human and non-human nature. Within the framework of the TRACTS and City of Women we will try to bring together discourses on gender equality and care in the deteriorating conditions of the late Anthropocene by bringing together artists and researchers who delve into issues of the climate crisis and social justice from a feminist, intersectional, queer, and decolonial perspective with a focus on care as a central paradigm for redefining our relationship with the environment and each other.

CONNECTING LINES: TRACING CARE ON THE INTERSECTION OF FEMINISM AND ECOLOGY

TIMETABLE:

25/04/2024, day one
Location: Avditorij Moderne galerije
Free entry, panels will be held in English

1. PANEL: Collective struggles for sustainability
10.00–13.00

Irena Borić will open up questions about what kind of methodology can we embrace to look into ways of going beyond seemingly unsolvable discrepancy between art and life. Can art practice become a tool to be in the world differently? By finding and adjusting speculative and/or practical and concrete shifts in our immediate surroundings, we learn and unlearn how to (be)come together and meet each other on the common ground along the lines of care and sustainability, but also precarity and vulnerability. How do we take responsibility for our common vulnerability in face of ecological struggles?

short break: 13.00 - 13.30

2. PANEL: Bridging Theory and Practice 
13.30–15.00

This panel will showcase various approaches to ecofeminism presented by researchers who have recently published books on the subject. Ecofeminism: Between Women’s  and Green Studies (Ekofeminizam: između zelenih i ženskih studija, Durieux Publisher, Zagreb, 2020), edited by Goran Đurđević and Suzana Marjanić, focuses on ecofeminism within the context of Southeast Europe. It provides an analysis of social processes and structures, as well as perspectives on activism from individual groups and actors in public life. Myriam Bahaffou, starting with her book Glitter on Compost: Everyday Ecofeminisms (Le Passager Clandestin, 2022), analyzes ecofeminism through everyday practices and linguistic perspectives, building upon them concepts.

During this panel, we will explore various approaches to the question of ecofeminism and the intersection of theory and practice. We will also ask panelists about the most urgent issues in the feminist and environmental field, and inquire about how we can implement "ecofeminisms" in our daily lives. The panelists will join the event via zoom. 

late lunch break: 15.00–16.00 

3. PANEL: Alternative Futures
16.00–17.30

In this session, we will look closer into different artistic practices engaged with issues of ecology, feminism, and care by presenting (segments of) artworks within a conference format. Introducing artistic strategies such as Live Action Role-Play, collective performance, film, video, and sound, we will learn about speculative future scenarios in works by Diana Lelonek and Sophie Allerding. We will encounter posthuman feminist perspectives in Maja Smrekar's collective performance, as well as existing coping mechanisms employed in the framework of subsistence economies and the legal frameworks that enabled exploitation in the first place in the films of Marwa Arsanios. We will also engage in an attentive listening session with the Ida Hirsenfelder sound works.

After the panel, there will be a screening of films by Marwa Arsanios, where we will become acquainted with existing mechanisms of subsistence economies and legal frameworks that enable the exploitation of nature and labor.

Projection of two short films by Marwa Arsanios
18.00–19.15

In Part 3: Micro Resistencias, Marwa Arsanios focuses on the region of Tolima, also known as one of the coffee producing regions in Colombia. The film brings to our attention several stories of women who, in turn, talk about their struggle to preserve the ancestral knowledge of the indigenous communities concerning the cultivation and protection of the seeds that enable them to achieve a form of agricultural autonomy.

The film Who is Afraid of Ideology? Part 4: Reverse Shot departs from a collaborative project that is attempting to shift the status of a private land area in the north of Lebanon to a common or a social waqf. The aim is to advance the right of usership over ownership. The land would only be used by people who do not own land for agricultural purposes.

The first two chapters of Who is Afraid of Ideology? were presented in the framework of Marwa Arsanios solo exhibition of the same name during the City of Women festival in 2018 in collaboration with the Škuc Gallery.

26/04/2024
drugi dan
Location: Avditorij Moderne galerije and Krater
Free entry, panels will be held in English

4. PANEL: On Care
10.00–12.00

In this panel, we will explore diverse perspectives on the concepts of care and concern. Artist Isabel Carvalho will emphasize the role of community as a space for integration, acceptance, and a sense of belonging. Together with her, we will reflect on ways to support this process. Alongside Professor Jasmina Husanović, we will analyse the connections between art, academic environment, and activism. Additionally, with Dr. Sascia Bailer, a feminist researcher, we will explore the relationship between curatorial care and promoting gender equality. Scholar Magda Buchczyk will explore the interplay between heritage practice and the contested ideas and practices of care by focusing on the specific case of Mediterranean wetlands.

5. PART: Krater visit; performance and workshop
13.00–16.30

During the afternoon session, we will move to Krater Park where the seminar will continue to weave together its propositions and pose new epistemological challenges based on the exercise of political imagination. First, Amelie Aranguren will presenet the outcomes of the workshop creating a space to get to know some of the cases of peri-urban producers and self-organised groups of consumption, stemming from direct sales based in Ljubljana. Afterwards, Graham Bell Tornado will perform the ritual of founding Krater Park as a Post Industrial Natural Queer (P.I.N.Q.) Park, in an eco-queer re-appropriation of national parks’ founding culture. Instead of giving rise to dynamics of domination over nature, they will inaugurate a space where sexual, biological, and cultural diversity can be protected. The session will close with Liliana Zeic’s workshop in which participants will be invited to engage in a state of collective interspecies sisterhood and deep connection with the plant environment, in which some of the fundamental ideas addressed during the previous sessions will be brought together.

Curated by Iva Kovač (she/her), Alberto Berzosa (he/him)Ewa Chomicka (she/her) and Eliza Proszczuk (she/her).

GENDER EQUALITY: UNGENDERING MEMORY AND MUSEUM PRACTICES

Museum collections have emerged from the need to organise and categorise the world, attempting to bring together incompatible and diverse practices and memories into a coherent
narrative. The binary axis of female/male, which is assumed as natural, helps to perpetuate
patriarchal values and marginalise people whose gender identity does not fit into this binary.
Gender categorisation is fundamental both for the collection of material and its interpretation, which contributes to its perpetuation. This often means that the male perspective is
privileged over the female and that other genders are not discussed or represented, which
maintains gender inequality and the exclusion of gender minorities. What would it mean to
question and explore gender categories in a museum setting? How do museum narratives
shift when we look at objects and trace their history from a broader understanding of gender?
In what ways are the strategies of care practiced in relation to the museum’s communities,
marginalized voices and, last but not least, internal processes of production and creation?
Through case studies of museum collections, art practices and activism, we aim to explore
possible methodologies and approaches to tracing alternative narratives of gender, female
empowerment and the hegemony of the essentialized gender binary. Special emphasis will
be given to methods of collaboration and co-creation with various publics in order to examine how to care for gender narratives and how to build infrastructures of care in an equitable and inclusive manner. The International Workshop on Gender and Museum Practices is
designed with the purpose of bringing together the international community of academics,
museum curators, researchers, activists, art practitioners, and interested parties to discuss
current research while providing the opportunity to share thoughts, exchange ideas, extend
the network and explore current and future research directions.
The workshop is co-funded by the COST Action “Trace as a Research Agenda for Climate
Change, Technology Studies, and Social Justice” (TRACTS) within the WG2 Traces and Social
Justice, and Slovenian Research Agency within the postdoctoral project Z6-3225 “Emancipatory Politics of Women’s Social Movements and the Postsecular Turn in Feminism”.
Please note that all sessions will be conducted exclusively in English, and there will be no
provision for translations or interpretation services.

Photo Credit: Laura Muñoz-Encinar

26 - 28 September 2023, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

26 September 2023

9:30h Welcome

Forensic Archaeology Laboratory

Trainers: Laura Muñoz-Encinar (INCIPIT CSIC); Zahira Aragüete-Toribio (University of Neuchâtel)

10:00- 11:00h Module 1: Forensic Archaeology

11.00h-11:30h Coffee break

11:30-13:30h Module 1: Forensic Archaeology

13:30-15:00h Break

15:00- 17:00h Module 2: Ethnography of objects

17:00-17:30h Break

17:30- 18:30h Module 2: Ethnography of objects

27 September 2023

Experimental Ethnography Laboratory (EEL)

Trainers: Iñigo Sánchez-Fuarros(INCIPIT CSIC); Zahira Aragüete-Toribio (University of Neuchâtel); Laura Muñoz-Encinar (INCIPIT CSIC)

10:00- 11:00h Module 3: Ethnography Fieldwork

11.00-11:30h Coffee break

11:30-13:30h Module 3: Ethnography Fieldwork

13:30-15:00h Break

15:00- 17:00h Module 4: Experimental Ethnography

17:00-17:30h Break

17:30- 18:30h Module 4: Experimental Ethnography

28 September 2023

Re-presentation Strategies in a Digital Age

Trainers: César Parcero Oubiña (INCIPIT CSIC); Laura Muñoz-Encinar (INCIPIT CSIC); Jesús García Sánchez (IAM CSIC); Jesús Jiménez Chaparro (University of Cantabria)

10:00- 11:00h Module 5: Introduction to the module and presentation of a Case Study

11.00-11:30h Coffee break

11:30-13:30h Module 5: New technologies for the study of the traces of conflicts

13:30-15:00h Break

15:00- 17:00h Module 6: Final remarks

18:00-19:30h Visit to Santiago de Compostela

20:00h Closure

Workshop Leaders

Laura Muñoz-Encinar INCIPIT CSIC

César Parcero Oubiña INCIPIT CSIC

Iñigo Sánchez Fuarros INCIPIT CSIC

Zahira Aragüete-Toribio University of Neuchâtel

Workshop Collaborators

Jesús García Sánchez IAM-CSIC

Jesús Jiménez Chaparro University of Cantabria

Host Institution

Institute of Heritage Sciences of the Spanish National Research Council (INCIPIT CSIC)


Fontán Building, block 4 Monte Gaiás, s/n

15707 Santiago de Compostela

Spain

https://www.incipit.csic.es

Photo credit: Laura-Muñoz Encinar

September 26-28, 2023
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

a TRACTS multimodal training school

What?

This international training school aims to analyse the material traces of conflict and their impact in the present through the conceptual lens of different disciplines: Archaeology, Forensic Sciences, Social Anthropology and Memory Studies.

By focusing on the three main themes of Materiality, Memory, and Technology the training school explores the traces of contemporary European conflicts. It will bring together scholars from the social sciences, humanities and forensic sciences with memorialization and advanced technology experts to examine the remnants of 20th century conflicts and develop inclusive strategies for historical knowledge dissemination.

The summer school will be developed for three days at the Institute of Heritage Sciences of the Spanish National Research Council (INCIPIT CSIC) in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), and is open, among others, to MA students, PhD candidates, early career researchers, technicians, memorial experts, and activists.

Combining theoretical and practical contents, participants will explore archaeological, forensic, and ethnographic materials to learn about innovative methodological approaches based on three axes:

-Forensic Archaeology Laboratory: Training in theoretical and practical methodologies of fieldwork and laboratory techniques for the analysis of the material culture and human remains found in contemporary conflict-affected sites.

-Experimental Ethnography Laboratory: Training in methodological, theoretical, and practical contents for ethnographic fieldwork.

-Re-presentation Strategies in a Digital Age:  Training in the use of non and minimally invasive archaeological methods, 3D scanned landscapes and artefacts. We will also examine and use digital tools and discuss their potential to provide local, national, and global audiences with access to conflict-related heritage.

Workshop Leaders

This TRACTS workshop and training school will be facilitated by researchers, image and sound makers, and writers who are actively engaged in multimodal forms of knowledge production in relation to mass violence sites, including from archaeological, anthropological, and historical perspectives.

Laura Muñoz-Encinar INCIPIT CSIC

César Parcero Oubiña INCIPIT CSIC

Iñigo Sánchez Fuarros INCIPIT CSIC

Zahira Aragüete-Toribio University of Neuchâtel

Available Fellowships

TRACTS is offering several fellowships for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers based in Europe. Through a reimbursement scheme, these fellowships will cover travel and accommodation expenses. Students based locally will be eligible for local travel reimbursements. The workshop itself is free of charge.

Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers outside of Europe can also participate, but their travel and accommodation will not be reimbursed.

Applications/Pitches

Interested participants should send a short version of their CV (2 pages maximum), a brief motivation statement about why you would like to take part in the training school, and a biography (100 words maximum) by 11pm (GMT) on Monday, June 26th.

Submission Details

Application documents should be submitted in one PDF file.

All dossiers must be submitted by email tracts@st-andrews.ac.uk by 11pm (GMT) on Monday, June 26th with the following subject heading: UNEARTHING - First Name Last Name - Institution.

We will announce the participants by the beginning of July 2023.

Host Institution

This Training School is organized by TRACTS (CA20134), supported by European Cooperation in Science and Technology. COST is a funding agency for research and innovation network.

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.

  1. Drawing attention to the usual lack of ecological specificity of archives. Although there are repositories created and managed by environmental groups, it is common to find the documents and graphic and audiovisual materials produced by the movement, or of importance for reconstructing its history, in other kinds of archives, like the one belonging to trade unions, foundations or governmental entities. Locating the spaces where the traces of ecologism lie is part of our interests.
  2. Studying the structure and metabolism of archives. In the archival collections dwell the bases of the mindsets that allow us to think and understand the past of environmentalism, which are in permanent connection with the values, interests and needs of the present. These mental frameworks define cataloguing processes, heritage policies between the preservation and dissemination of archival documents. All this affects the current role of the memory of environmentalism. Rethinking how to access archives or to develop cultural policies beyond the logics of mere material accumulation, how to address the energy costs required to guarantee the material conditions (temperature, humidity or digitization processes) for document preservation, or how to experiment with ways of disseminating materials and forms of historical production are also central to us.
  3. Providing examples of work with environmental archives from a multidisciplinary perspective. Be it through the activity of activist collectives or archivists concerned with environmental memory; from different academic branches, such as the history of toxics or visual culture; or through the practice of artists and curators committed to developing ways of recovering and making known the materials of environmental memory. The aim of this event is to share ways of working with and from the archive and to think collectively how to make visible the traces of ecological activism in its multiple historical, social, economic and environmental entanglements throughout history.

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.

TRACTS MC meeting after main sessions - sisterhood in practice: Isto Huvila, Aimée Joyce, Katarzyna Nesterowicz/ photo by Marcin Nowicki
Rui Gomes Coelho at TRACTS MC meeting: Kraków 8th March 2023/ photo by Marcin Nowicki
TRACTS MC meeting participants: Kraków 8th March 2023
Katarzyna Nesterowicz at exhibition POWERBANK/ The Strenght of Women/ photo by Marcin Nowicki

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."

Museum's director Monika Dudek, Magdalena Zych, Dorota Majkowska-Szajer/ photo by Marcin Nowicki

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.

soundTRACTS by DJ virtual geisha / photo by Marcin Nowicki

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

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83754543844

Meeting ID: 837 5454 3844

Passcode: 627687

WORKSHOP PROGRAMME:

Workshop_Unearthing_Archives-Brochure