Creative Approaches to Memory NUBS 3.15
Jul 06, 2023 09:00 - 10:30(Europe/London)
20230706T0900 20230706T1030 Europe/London 5.15. Visual memories NUBS 3.15 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023
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Analogue to digital: exploring transnational memory/loss through the (re)presentation of familial intimacies within a visual creative practice.
Individual paperCreative Approaches to Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC
In 2016, my niece Franklin Linders-Flynn was born in London, United Kingdom. At the time of her birth, our family was in South Africa and Switzerland. Immediately after Franklin's birth, a picture of her was posted on a family WhatsApp group called Family Fun. Ever since then, her life and the life of my second niece Finnan Linders-Flynn has been extensively documented and shared via WhatsApp. A contributing factor to the amount of documentation taken of my nieces is that we are a transnational family, scattered across three different continents. During the exciting time of my niece's early childhood, my Grandmother Alice Inderbitzen Muhl (Grossmami) started to slowly lose her memory to dementia after she suffered a mini-stroke. While her physical and mental health began to change and fade, I began watching the representation of her younger self in 8 mm video footage taken by my Grandfather Dr Arthur Muhl (Grosspapi) from 1960 to 1998. It is in response to these intersecting memory-archives that I situate my creative practice: the analogue footage of my grandmother (rendered all the more poignant by her progressive memory loss) and the abundance of digital representations of my nieces (shared within my transnational family). 
In this paper, I unpack my use of a creative practice-based methodology to explore transnational memory, expressed through the (re)presentation of familial intimacies in three generations of analogue and digital archives. I pose the questions, how do my creative (re)presentations of familial intimacies within these photographic and filmic archives enable me to understand the relationship between the fleetingness of memory and the seemingly fixed nature of the filmic/photographic archive? In what way does this relationship echo the instability of the transitional family experience? And what are the parallels between the creative practice of (re)presenting familial intimacies and transnational memory?
Within my practice, I use autoethnography as my primary method of exploring memory texts. In particular, I utilise the concept of 'graphy' within autoethnography  to refer not only to the act of "writing, interpreting and editing to engage in cultural inquiry" (Findlay-Walsh, 2022: 493), but also to the act of taking, recording, editing and interpreting photos and videos to create new artefacts. These artefacts (which I will share in the paper presentation) embody transnational experiences of  "co-presence" (Skrbiš, 2008: 238), feelings of being 'here' and 'there' (Loucky et al., 2006), the experience of  "absence from a distance" and "in situ", (Skrbiš, 2008: 240) and the concept of a "third space" (Belford and Lahiri-Roy 2019: 68). The artefacts thus function as memory texts in and of themselves, adding to the archive of transnational memory.

Images of artefacts are below. 

Raphaela Cosima Thandeka Linders
PhD Fine Art Candidate , Rhodes University
Drawing with the Trouble: Towards a visual practice of remembrance in post-conflict Northern Ireland
Individual paperCreative Approaches to Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC
Since the signing of the Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998, and the objective political shift of the country from one of conflict to peace, there has been a wide range of creative responses from artists concerned with the issue of unresolved pasts in this transitional period. Artists such as Miriam de Búrca and Rita Donagh have dedicated large parts of their drawing practice to the subject of the ethno-national conflict, engaged in a slow and meticulous process that gives attention to places that have suffered from catastrophic human loss. Their drawing practice is one that calls attention to those spaces, as a form of resistance to those memories being forgotten. 
In a time of continued disturbance in Northern Ireland, in part due to debates surrounding the impact of Brexit, and the mishandling of the border issue between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, there are concerns that ghosts of the violent past could rise again. The space for artists to give representation to those concerns seems ever more vital, as a form of recognition of the societal trauma that continues to pervade in the country. 
Through an analysis of the drawing practices of Miriam de Búrca and Rita Donagh, this paper and exposition of drawings, will show how the approaches used by those artists call attention to that which has been lost, or under threat of being forgotten. In response to this analysis, I present my own drawings focussed on a car park where my cousin was killed by a car bomb in 1991, using psychoanalytic concepts to show how the mechanics of drawing allow me to communicate the psychic effects I experience when I return to the site of the atrocity. It is through this drawing that I reinforce the significance that drawing can have as a practice of remembrance in this turbulent context. 
James Craig
Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University, School Of Architecture, Planning & Landscape
The Way Back: Photography, Memory and the First World War
Individual paperCreative Approaches to Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC
In 2020, during lockdown, artist and photographer Alan Ward began collecting First World War (WW1) postcards sent home by occupying German soldiers from the small French town of Grandpré, Ardennes. The postcards represent a particularly liminal moment but are probably the most complete photographic documentation of the town, featuring many current and lost buildings. Coupled with their images, the short-form texts, offer a rather 'infra-ordinaire' insight into soldiers' lives, due to military censorship. The postcards invite a contemporary re-evaluation of Grandpré's sense of place, and, as WWI fades from public discourse, the memorialisation of a disappearing past. "La vojo returne" is the Esperanto title for this project – a translation of "The Way Back", a 1929 novel by Erich Maria Remarque examining pessimism in the world after WWI.
Armed with 100+ postcards, Ward visited Grandpré in Summer 2022 and discovered residents had similar extensive collections. He created a Facebook group inviting locals to share memories and cards collectively for the first time. Former inhabitants and relatives across the world also joined, sharing their familial recollections, and engaging with the postcards, their messages, and Ward's artistic practice. This is a significant resource to feed a future immersive collaborative artistic response. 
Together, Ward and Corinne Painter (a lecturer in Intercultural Studies) began examining how Ward's output and the postcard collections can become 'meaning-making' objects in the collective memory of Grandpré's inhabitants and exiles today, and how best to develop and ensure this becomes a critical conversation and archive for a wider audience. 

Corinne Painter
Dr, University Of Leeds
Alan Ward
Multidisciplinary Artist
History, Memory, Autography: Drawing Oneself and Drawing One’s Self in Comics and Graphic Novels
Individual paperCreative Approaches to Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC
In our paper, we present the notion of the 'autographic', which we coin to grasp and analyze the formal, symbolic and affective characteristics of autobiographical comics and graphic novels, and the roles that these aspects play in processes of collective and personal forms of commemoration. Simultaneously referring to the practices of 'drawing oneself' and 'drawing one's self', we analyze how the specific form of comics and graphic novels enables artists to remember the(ir) (own) past(s) by drawing themselves 'in' and together with these pasts. Not only do we distinguish this notion from that of 'autofiction', we also focus specifically on the role that the autographic plays in the presentation and remembrance of collective traumas (those 'events' that historian Hayden White famously characterized as 'Holocaustal'). In this context, we explore elements of Art Spiegelman's Maus and In the Shadow of No Towers, Keiji Nakazawa's I Saw It and Barefoot Gen, and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis. With help of the notion of the autographic, we show how these comics and graphic novels revolve around an entwinement of two polarities. The first concerns the polarity between the highly personal - manifested in the individual drawing styles of the cartoonists and the ways in which these artists draw themselves - and the more broadly shared cultural contexts, discourses and drawing conventions in which the graphic novels and comics are embedded. The second polarity concerns the possible tension between, on the one hand, highly particular and individual memories of traumatic events, and on the other hand the ways in which these events are collectively shared, remembered and represented, as such turning into history. In this way, the notion of the autographic enables us to show how comics and graphic novels carve out their own unique position by navigating between and through these polarities. 
Mathijs Peters
Lecturer, Leiden University
Yasco Horsman
Leiden University
Colourising Perpetrator Photographs: The Auschwitz Erkennungsdienst
Individual paperCreative Approaches to Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC

The digital colourisation of images originally made and circulated in black and white is becoming a common practice to revivify and encourage audience engagement with the past. Increasingly used in documentaries, televised and on cinematic release, and in museum displays, it now seems often to go unquestioned within the forums in which it appears, and yet to be greeted with scepticism by scholars of film and photography. Claims for and against it generally hinge on its success in bringing the past to life, or its failure to acknowledge that this is an unrealisable ideal.
But in the case of Holocaust photography – particularly that produced by its perpetrators – colourisation can be seen to perform other functions, involving more complex negotiations between past and present. Colourisation manipulates images so that they are not reproduced in the form perpetrator-photographers created, kept and looked at them. In doing this, colourisation is also pre-figured by other methods used by museums and film-makers to interrogate perpetrator-produced images and disrupt their functioning.
In this paper, I will take as my case study two sets of images from Auschwitz: the photographs taken of prisoners, and the album discovered and donated to Yad Vashem by Auschwitz survivor Lilly Jacob-Zelmanovic Meier. Both sets were produced by or under the direction of the camp Political Department's Identification Service (Erkennungsdienst). They have appeared in recent colourisation projects: the film Auschwitz Untold: In Colour (Channel 4, 2020) and the online exhibition and (not yet released) documentary Faces of Auschwitz. I will place these projects in the lineage of films which also show and alter the Erkennungsdienst's images: Ordinary Fascism (dir. Mikhail Romm, USSR, 1965), Auschwitz the Album the Memory (dir. Alain Jaubert, France, 1984) and Images of the World and the Inscription of War (dir. Harun Farocki, West Germany, 1989). I will show that drawing links between these historically disparate films and exhibitions makes clearer the potentialities and limitations of colourising perpetrator photographs.
Presenters Dominic Williams
Assistant Professor, Northumbria University
Research Fellow
University of Leeds
Senior Lecturer
Newcastle University, School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape
PhD Fine Art Candidate
Rhodes University
Multidisciplinary artist
University of Leeds
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PhD student
Department of Communication, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
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