Memory, Space & Place WG | Conflict, Violence and Memory TFDC 2.15
Jul 06, 2023 11:00 - 12:30(Europe/London)
20230706T1100 20230706T1230 Europe/London 6.9. Memory, Space & Place

The "spatial turn" has brought new dimensions of research in the humanities and the social sciences, highlighting the importance of space, place, cities and the built environment in the study of the social, the political and the cultural. As Foucault put it, our obsession with time has long obscured interests in space, but space has been also coming to the forefront. There has been a serious engagement of memory scholars with the spatial and material dimension of memory. This MSA working group builds on this work and aims to bring together perspectives from different disciplines that address the intersections of memory and space, to bring in dialogue theories, methods and research directions, and to open interdisciplinary discussions about the practice and activism of memory in place. We seek to discuss both the spatial turn in memory studies as well as the interest in memory in the "spatial" disciplines (ie. geography, architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture). This session will build on topics related to this, bringing together research from a wide array of disciplines.

Adam Lundberg

The Redemption of Landscape: The Ghost of the Holocaust Returns to the Heimat

Continuing on theoretical developments in the wake of the humanistic turn in geography and the spatial turn in the humanities, this paper investigates contemporary art which critically re-enact and anchor the past in place, by using authentic or historically symbolical materiality and by employing mnemonic and geographical aesthetics.

The monumental three-channel video installation Malka Germania (2021) by Israeli artist Yael Bartana re-imagines the memory landscape of Berlin, as part of Bartana's exploration of possible redemption between people, place and time. By fusing ...

TFDC 2.15 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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The "spatial turn" has brought new dimensions of research in the humanities and the social sciences, highlighting the importance of space, place, cities and the built environment in the study of the social, the political and the cultural. As Foucault put it, our obsession with time has long obscured interests in space, but space has been also coming to the forefront. There has been a serious engagement of memory scholars with the spatial and material dimension of memory. This MSA working group builds on this work and aims to bring together perspectives from different disciplines that address the intersections of memory and space, to bring in dialogue theories, methods and research directions, and to open interdisciplinary discussions about the practice and activism of memory in place. We seek to discuss both the spatial turn in memory studies as well as the interest in memory in the "spatial" disciplines (ie. geography, architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture). This session will build on topics related to this, bringing together research from a wide array of disciplines.



Adam Lundberg

The Redemption of Landscape: The Ghost of the Holocaust Returns to the Heimat

Continuing on theoretical developments in the wake of the humanistic turn in geography and the spatial turn in the humanities, this paper investigates contemporary art which critically re-enact and anchor the past in place, by using authentic or historically symbolical materiality and by employing mnemonic and geographical aesthetics.

The monumental three-channel video installation Malka Germania (2021) by Israeli artist Yael Bartana re-imagines the memory landscape of Berlin, as part of Bartana's exploration of possible redemption between people, place and time. By fusing actual and alternative fictional realities of the German-Jewish experience, as a way to offer "critical scrutiny of collective expectations of political or religious salvation", she recreates Jewish Europe as something like a dream-scape (or nightmare). In one scene, street signs in German are exchanged for Hebrew ones, reminding of the power of street names as a decolonial and reparative practice. The new names are chosen carefully: Street of Revenge, Way of Redemption, and so on. In another scene, Israeli soldiers in contemporary-looking uniforms zoom across the Wannsee lake in a speedboat with the Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz looming in the background. Later, we see Malka (the protagonist) walking along train tracks through a forest, evoking the death trains of the Holocaust. When she arrives at a station, a group of 'Germans' stands there, waiting for something. Next, they are on the move, reminiscent of the forced death marches camp inmates were forced into, but also the long march of shame Germans took, when those remaining in the Eastern Territories attempted to return to the German Heimat in the final days of World War II, as all- too-vividly described in Walter Kempowski's 2006 novel Alles Umsonst.


Doron Eldar

Mapping Motivations: Who is Mobilizing the Memory of the DWI in Copenhagen's Landscape of Commemoration

Despite Denmark ruling over the Danish West Indies (DWI) (known today as the US Virgin Islands –[USVI]) for 245 years, Denmark's role as enslavers and colonizers barely remains in the Danish public memory. The lack of memory of the DWI is partly owed to the fact that unlike other postcolonial powers (including Denmark itself in relation to Greenland), Denmark lacks a significant population from the USVI to offer a counter-memory. Moreover, few white Danes bear a direct relationship with the Islands that housed settlers from across Europe. Despite these absences, in 2017 - the centennial year of the sale of the DWI to the USA – Denmark saw an unprecedented engagement with the memory of the DWI, including various efforts to enshrine/contest narratives about the DWI in Copenhagen's landscape of commemoration. In this paper, I examine who are the various actors that mobilize the memory of the DWI in the Danish landscape of commemoration, what is the nature of their engagement with the memory, and their motivations for mobilizing it.


Paula Tesche & Asef Antonio

The memories of a disappeared place: stories and emotions

This paper aims to produce a space for discussion regarding memories, considering historical testimonies and the emotions associated with them. It is proposed that in their testimonial condition, the oral, visual, written sources of a disappeared place constitute historical texts that, in association with emotions, produce living memories that in certain places are at risk of disappearing. For this, a place of memory that was located in Chile, Concepción, used as a detention and torture centre during the dictatorship (1973 - 1990) and that later disappeared due to demolition, is studied. This place is analysed as a carrier of symbolized realities about disappearance and its relationship with materiality, highlighting the significant role of emotions mobilized in residents of the place regarding the memories linked to it. The methodology used in this investigation was mixed, on the one hand, semi-structured interviews were conducted with residents of the neighbourhood where the torture centre was located, and on the other, press archives and visual records of the place were analysed.

PhD Candidate
,
Department of Human Geography, Uppsala University
PhD candidate
,
Uppsala University
Professor
,
Universidad Andrés Bello
Professor
,
Universidad de Concepción
 Adam Lundberg
PhD Candidate
,
Department of Human Geography, Uppsala University
 Gruia Badescu
Research Fellow
,
University of Konstanz, Zukunftskolleg
Ms Morgane Govoreanu
PhD Student
,
EHESS-Paris/UT2J-Toulouse
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