Creative Approaches to Memory NUBS 1.03
Jul 05, 2023 13:30 - 15:00(Europe/London)
20230705T1330 20230705T1500 Europe/London 4.16. Memorials, landscapes, and cultural matters NUBS 1.03 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023
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Shingwauk: A Model for Memory
Individual paperCreative Approaches to Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
This presentation sits at the nexus of architectural production, digital media, and memory studies. It examines how the architectural practice of digital model making can form the substrate for projective video animation. This model/animation hybrid serves as an emerging framework for comprehensive storytelling of sites of trauma.
The Shingwauk site model is a small part of a larger Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall project. Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall is a survivor-led, Truth and Reconciliation oriented project. The exhibition examines the Shingwauk Residential School site, and its varied collection of educational, religious, and agricultural buildings completed since 1873. In that time, the site has housed two iterations of its residential school, of which, the most recent version constitutes the main administrative building for two, present-day universities: Algoma in partnership with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig. It is the aim of the site model and the larger exhibition to convey Shingwauk's fraught history, and decolonize from one of collective trauma towards inclusion and awareness.
The Shingwauk site model is approx. 2.4m by 1.2m (8'0" x 4'0") in size. The campus buildings are 1:300 in scale, digitally modelled using Rhinoceros 7.0 software and 3D printed. The landscape is a palimpsest of historic, and demolished buildings, paths and roadways overlaid on the existing campus plan. This base was computer-numerically-control (CNC) milled from high-density foam. The forested areas on the east edge of the site were hand finished before the entire foam model was painted flat white. This surface, with its elaborate 3D printed buildings forms the screen for the projected animation which displays a historical geography of the site.
This presentation describes how comprehensive architectural model can form an important staging ground to layer additional media, and how images and stories can enrich our understanding of places and events.
Johan Voordouw
Associate Professor, Azrieli School Of Architecture & Urbanism, At Carleton University, Ottawa,
Restoring the City: Sonic Memories of the Urban Milieu
Individual paperCreative Approaches to Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
The soundscape of the modern city has been transformed and reformed over the past three years. Where it was once a bustling, breathing creature, the onset of the UK national lockdowns brought with it the silencing of modernity and the desolation of the urban soundscape. This change in the social landscape of the country – and the world – triggered a dynamic change in the place of the city: a dislocation of people, sound, and identity.
            Memory is key in the process of restoration, in the forging of hope in the wake of loss and hopelessness. This paper examines sonic memory and the restoration of the city from the perspective of creative practice in order to understand how we consider the city post-COVID, how we experience and navigate it in our day-to-day lives, and how we can comprehend the differences in the sonic landscape of the city as it stands today. 
            This paper will introduce key works in the author's creative output that concern the city in its various social, sonic, and metaphysical incarnations. The soundwork all illusions, all again, premiered in the Arches of Newcastle University's campus in November 2022, is explored in the context of Storm Arwen (November 2021) and the nightlife of the city. Using contact microphones on floor-to-ceiling windows, the sounds of the storm and the throb of music from the city's clubs were transformed into a soundscape that at once transcends temporal borders and is yet truly fixed in its time. The soundwork both hearkens back to Newcastle's pre-COVID soundscape and records the staggering bustle of the post-COVID nightlife explosion following the end of the UK national lockdowns.
            never abandon, a work for an unspecified trio, is cyclic and initially gentle, but is transformed through repetition into incessant and banal reiterations of its musical materials. It both points backwards to the tenderness of its opening phrases, while simultaneously pointing forwards in its process of becoming to a point where the music will, after some temporal suspension and musical insistence, cease to be.
            The identity of the city is negotiated through personal experience, and throughout the UK national lockdowns the city changed from a home or a workplace, to a prison or an island. It requires both sonic and cultural memory for restoration, and restoration itself requires hope. In the absence of hope it could have been quite possible that the city was never restored. This paper, therefore, in order to contextualise the restoration of our cities, outlines some desolate cityscapes which demonstrate an absence of hope. It does not, however, argue that our cities have been fully restored, ignoring the confounding losses incurred upon society, but that restoration is a continuous process of becoming that is not, and never will be, complete. Much like the soundscape of the city, the urban identity is forever in flux and entirely subjective, but it is within these subjective experiences that a process of becoming and restoration is possible and entirely audible.
James Clay
PhD Candidate (Music), Newcastle University
Memory matters - Forest Finnish memory culture from remains to DNA-test-proven ethnicity
Individual paperCreative Approaches to Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC

What is memory made of? How is memory made? Can memory bring a culture back to life? This paper aims to apply theoretical approaches on materiality and non-human agency to historical memory studies – specifically the study of Scandinavian Forest Finnish memory culture. 
55 years ago, the Forest Finns were memorialized with a sculpture in the town of Karlstad, Sweden – one of many Scandinavian memorializations of this group in the mid- to late 20th century. Although their historical contribution to Swedish society as migrant cultivators and civilizers of forested areas was highlighted, public discourse at the time left little doubt as to the status of the Forest Finns: they were extinct. Some descendants might still exist, but the culture (always singular) was consistently spoken of in the past tense. The people and the culture were gone, and remaining were – in addition to the possible descendants – abandoned farms, place names, stories and rumors that there might somewhere still be people who could speak the old, Finnish dialect of the area. 
In the early 2020's however, the Forest Finns are very much alive. Instead of remains and stories, there are now whole communities: organizations, projects, folk dress, festivals, a flag and not least: several social media groups dedicated to the very vital Forest Finns. Although thoroughly contemporary in some respects, Forest Finnish culture(s?) of today is predominantly memory based and the past is uniquely ubiquitous. Following this memory culture over six decades shows some significant changes. For instance, the historical Forest Finns are now rarely viewed as settlers and a force of civilization. Instead, they are more often compared to indigenous peoples, whose bond to nature is a prominent characteristic. The descendants of the possible descendants referred to two generations ago, now proudly announce their Finnish ancestry – apparently proven by DNA-tests – on social media. This extraordinary revitalization (or resurrection?) and the essential role memory has played in it, is peculiar in several respects and make Forest Finnish memory cultures a particularly interesting case to study. 
Drawing on theories on new materialism, this paper (which is part of an ongoing PhD project) explores the material dimensions of memory production. Whereas historians studying memory are often concerned with epistemology, there are also important ontological questions that need addressing. Acknowledging the importance of materiality and non-human agency in the creation, (re)mediation and preservation of memory changes not only what memory is seen to be, but also what the production and mediation of memory does. How does matter matter to memory – and how does memory matter in the revitalization of a minority group?  

Kristin Mikalsen
PhD Student, Karlstad University
Associate Professor
Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism, at Carleton University, Ottawa,
PhD Candidate (Music)
Newcastle University
PhD student
Karlstad University
Jagiellonian University
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