Memory & Activism WG | Memory, Activism and Social Justice TFDC 2.15
Jul 05, 2023 13:30 - 15:00(Europe/London)
20230705T1330 20230705T1500 Europe/London 4.12. Memory+Activism+Environment

This session seeks to explore everyday activism, the environment and memory. We aim to create a space for thinking about different approaches to non-extractive knowledge making that responds to local context and seeks to make modest but lasting changes to what we know. The session draws on the experiences and thoughts of speakers who are using a wider range of participatory and creative methods, working with marginalised communities in varied localised contexts from around the world. The format of the session is designed to support a sense of humble solidarity and community building. The approach and form of the session itself will embody some of our approaches by troubling the conventional 'broadcast' mode used in the delivery of conference papers. Instead, the session will be framed around short talks with opportunities for participants to explore their own multi-sensory and creative approaches to memory research. Participants will be given some materials to make their own response to each intervention and to the session as a whole.

Alison Atkinson-Phillips, Newcastle University

Lived experiences of environmental change and the student climate strike movement

My talk will draw from pilot research into the ways knowledge, values and experiences about the natural world are shared across generations and influence climate activism. This research comes out of my experience teaching oral history as part of the Newcastle University Oral History Unit & Collective, and exploring the theme of activism with students in this place. Oral history has a long tradition of environmental justice research into the impacts of natural disaster; for many young people, their lived experience of climate change is one of a slow-moving disaster. I will explore the ways thi ...

TFDC 2.15 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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This session seeks to explore everyday activism, the environment and memory. We aim to create a space for thinking about different approaches to non-extractive knowledge making that responds to local context and seeks to make modest but lasting changes to what we know. The session draws on the experiences and thoughts of speakers who are using a wider range of participatory and creative methods, working with marginalised communities in varied localised contexts from around the world. The format of the session is designed to support a sense of humble solidarity and community building. The approach and form of the session itself will embody some of our approaches by troubling the conventional 'broadcast' mode used in the delivery of conference papers. Instead, the session will be framed around short talks with opportunities for participants to explore their own multi-sensory and creative approaches to memory research. Participants will be given some materials to make their own response to each intervention and to the session as a whole.



Alison Atkinson-Phillips, Newcastle University

Lived experiences of environmental change and the student climate strike movement

My talk will draw from pilot research into the ways knowledge, values and experiences about the natural world are shared across generations and influence climate activism. This research comes out of my experience teaching oral history as part of the Newcastle University Oral History Unit & Collective, and exploring the theme of activism with students in this place. Oral history has a long tradition of environmental justice research into the impacts of natural disaster; for many young people, their lived experience of climate change is one of a slow-moving disaster. I will explore the ways this teaching-research nexus is reshaping my oral history practice to centre memory and emotions.


Anna Reading (Amza), King's College London, UK and University of Western Sydney, Australia

Alongside: swimming and making with autistic memory works

I will talk for a short while about a current project exploring deep eco memory in autistic memory works (Films, blogs, art works, memoirs by autistic people). Beginning with the autistic artist Judy Endow's idea of 'alignment' I have developed this into an approach to autistic memory work called 'alongsideness'. I combine multi-sensory modalities (Swimming, cycling, walking, sitting) along with the autoethnographic making of 'femmages' – feminist collages - using discarded materials that I recycle to enable embodied and multisensorial engagements with autistic memory works. I suggest that this can be one way of being alongside autistic people's memories as well as troubling extractive knowledge practices such as thematic and close reading that involves dissecting works and imposing interpretations. The work points to the need to shake up ways of thinking and doing in memory studies that also then neuroqueers (y)our axiomatic ideas in ways can rewild both what you and I do and what you and I know.


Elspeth Penfold, artist

A Living Story presented as a Quipucamayoc (a reader of knots): walking in and out of time with East Kent Mencap.

I will introduce my multi-disciplinary practice, which incorporates spinning and knotting work which draws on the Incan history and technique of 'Quipu' (knot work) of the native Andean people. My multi-disciplinary practice has a particular focus on participation and social engagement, and uses walking to explore environmental interconnections. I have over 22 varas ( textiles that incorporate weaving and knot work made through walking with community participation). You can see more about my work:http://www.elspeth-billie-penfold.com


Eva Rüskamp, University of Freiburg, Germany

Hidden Figures of Sustainability – Memory and Activism in Rural Environments

In a world focused on urban spaces and defined by metro-normative progress, rural environments and the people who inhabit them have often been marginalized and their visions for a sustainable future discounted. In my case study, I look at the people of the Appalachian mountains who face the consequences of unchecked (de-) industrialization, poverty and systematic underdevelopment with an activism that is informed by memories of place and geared towards (re-)building their physical and spiritual communities for generations to come. In my talk I share the challenges of working on/with vulnerable populations and accessing knowledge and data without falling into the "extraction" trap of social science work. Thinking through data and methods that way, I hope to start conversations about hierarchies of knowledge and how they impact our ability to understand and research pathways to sustainability which are deeply bound to memories and collective identities of places and regions. 

Lecturer in Public History
,
Newcastle University
King's College London
Artist
,
Independent artist: Thread and Word
Research Associate
,
Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg
 Eva Rüskamp
Research Associate
,
Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg
King's College London
Lecturer in Public History
,
Newcastle University
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