Creative Approaches to Memory NUBS 3.15
Jul 05, 2023 13:30 - 15:00(Europe/London)
20230705T1330 20230705T1500 Europe/London 4.17. Memory and the archive NUBS 3.15 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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Memorializing Birmingham Black Radio: From Archival to Community Memory
Individual paperMemory, Activism and Social Justice 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 13:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 14:30:00 UTC
The Birmingham Black Radio is dedicated to preserving the history of Black Radio in Birmingham, Alabama (USA). A temporal emphasis is on documenting the 1930s-1980s. A particular concern of the museum is with preserving and communicating histories which record the contributions of radio professionals to the American Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, and their impact of listeners and community organizers. The identifiers radio and radio professional are broadly defined. Broadcasters, station owners, managers, musicians, community activists, and listeners are represented in the Museum's holdings and in its media outputs. This framing situates radio as a co-created activity and has informed the Museum's documentary and memorial strategies. 
As a museum, the collection of artifacts, staging of exhibitions, and creation of documentaries and public programming is central to its operations and support the objective of communicating Birmingham Black Radio narratives. However, these functions are supported by a strong archival foundation. The museum operations are enable by concrete archival workflows. Preservation of radio documentation and a robust oral history program are also critical to the museum's operations. The evidence and information derived from these expressions are used to construct more public facing programming and tools.
Within the BBRM, archival memory is directly related to community and public memory. The preservation of past as expressed in archival records and recorded in oral histories [archival memory] enables the creation of vehicles [engagement efforts, exhibitions, documentaries] that support the creation of a co-created community and public memory. In this presentation, situated in the context of Birmingham Black Radio, the authors examine the relationship between archival and public memory, and propose a memory lifecycle [model after the records lifecycle] model for considering the relationship between archival and public memory.


Birmingham Black Radio Museum: http://thebbrm.org/
Presenters
RR
Robert Riter
The University Of Alabama
yours/mine/ours: autotheory and collective 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 paper explores the tensions and contradictions of engaging with memory as it oscillates between personal and collective modalities, as encountered through my artistic autotheoretical practice-based research into the Anzac Legend.
The Anzac legend is a historic collective memory that underpins notions of nationhood and identity in both Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia; it is often held up as an origin story and cultural exemplar in both countries. The identity of individuals, communities and nations are metabolised by and through collective memories such as the Anzac legend, often despite many members of the collective not being demographically represented within the collective memory itself.
Benedict Anderson (Imagined Communities) suggests that the nation is a constructed system of power that upholds itself for the benefit of itself: the nation is imaginary in so much as the borders that crisscross the earth are political constructs and that the sense of kinship between individuals within these borders is an act of imaginative relationality. It is through the prism of imaginative relationality with collective memory that my art practice theorises the personal, political and social stakes of engaging with national identity as an imagined, relational inheritance.
This research has been undertaken through autotheoretical, embodied artistic engagement with key theoretical texts. At its simplest, autotheory is defined as the joining of autobiography and theory within a creative work. Autotheoretical enquiries gain their insights through the distinct engagement of the autobiographical-self with theory, and furthermore, through embodied theorising with an extended plural-self. This plural-self is cultivated through experimental citation, speaking with, curating with, and other forms of creative, imaginative practices. This autotheoretical framework, allows my artistic research to imaginatively move between the 'yours', 'mine' and 'ours' modalities of collective memory.
In Staying with the Trouble, Donna Haraway emphasises the importance of who or what we choose to 'think-with' as a means of unhitching knowledge production from traditional power structures. Taking her lead from cultural theorist, Vinciane Despret's "ability to think-with other beings", Haraway expands the possibilities of 'thinking-with' to include material culture, amongst other things. Haraway's relocation of knowledge practices within materiality, away from the sole domain of the Enlightenment project's objective rationalism, compliments the autotheoretical methodology I have adopted in my practice-based research. 
Importantly, this paper is focused through the lens of my art practice. It introduces alternative forms of knowledge production through autotheoretical modes of embodied sculpture and film practices. Endurance sculpture, swimming, self-recording, and reflective filmmaking all feature as forms of 'speaking with' and close readings. This paper will take an autotheoretical form at times, whilst maintaining a critical discourse, and will includes moving image and sound recordings of the practice in action.

Presenters
CA
Cat Auburn
PhD Candidate, Northumbria University
Automatic Editing Machines in the Pursuit of Historical Justice
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

From Jean-François Lyotard's early proposition to counter grand narratives, to Saidiya Hartman's call for "Critical Fabulation" to fill the gaps in historical archives in the context of marginalized histories,  to Tonia Sutherland's and Michelle Caswell's calls to disrupt the white supremacist power structures in libraries and archives, to John Brown Childs' offering of transcommunality as a framework for redressing past violence and finding ways to live in difference, the field of historical justice is brimming with frameworks to address past violence.
This paper examines We Are History: A People's History of Lebanon as a case study for pursuing historical justice in post-war contexts. At the core of the project is an automated editing machine that outputs artificial conversations from recorded video memories of daily life in Lebanon from 1943 to the present. The paper walks the reader through the process of threading together individual oral histories about the contested histories of Lebanon into a complex roundtable weaving of collective perspectives and experiences. These speculative conversations that emerge from non-fictional spaces move between individual memories to collective conversations about these memories, opening up the space for imagining what conversations around these contested pasts could look like and finding language, not to agree on a unified history, but finding language to disagree about these multiple truths. The paper uses the lens of three existing desires of historical justice, co-creation, polyvocality, and pushing against a singular truth. It ends with a reflection on the question of the beneficiary of these narratives and digital projects.
The paper addresses the conference's theme of Communities and Change by addressing (1) the issue of scale and (2) the need to address the medium of software in creative approaches to digital interfaces to memory work. (1) From a practical point of view, large-scale conversations would not be possible without a digital intermediary. It would be difficult to hold in a human brain the range and number of perspectives that can be included in a digital project. (2) If the software-arguments used at every level-conversation interface, NI planner, recording and translation interfaces-are critically examined, software can play a role in imagining what these impossible conversations could look like. For marginalized communities to have a say in this transition and pursue historical justice, we need to build our own software systems.
Presenters
FH
Fabiola Hanna
Assistant Professor Of Emerging Media, The New School
Workers on their knees. Solidarity, Catholic Church, abortion
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
"It's impossible for representatives of the left in the West to think that Polish workers are praying, confessing and receiving communion" - said Polish Primate Stefan Wyszynski in 1980, commenting on the strikes at the Gdansk Shipyard. To this day, the Catholicism of Poland's Solidarity workers remains controversial, not only on the left. It conflicts with the belief that the ideological base of the working class is Marx and Lenin. It also conflicts with the firmly held myth of Solidarity as a pluralistic and universal movement.
In my paper, I will present the leading strategies of "reconciling" workers' religiosity with the myth of Solidarity, present in contemporary historical narratives, Polish and foreign (Jan Kubik, David Ost, Timothy Garton Ash, Shana Penn, Ewa Majewska, Jan Sowa). I will show how the way in which the memory of Solidarity is shaped is subordinated to the political desires of researchers and the ways they understand the political. My focus will be on the relationship between memory and the archive. The way the Solidarity is memorized shows clearly that it is not the archive that determines memory, but vice versa: memory shapes and establishes the archive.
My paper is a part of my research project, Abortion and Democracy. Underground Archives of Transformation. I presented the assumptions of the project at the 2021 MSA conference in Warsaw. This time I want to present a detailed study of Solidarity as the founding act of Polish democracy and the source of the conservative turn that took place in Poland after 1989.
Presenters
MK
Marcin Kościelniak
Professor, Jagiellonian University
PhD Candidate
,
Northumbria University
Assistant Professor of Emerging Media
,
The New School
professor
,
Jagiellonian University
The University of Alabama
PhD Student
,
Rutgers University
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