Deindustrialisation and Reinventions NUBS 4.08
Jul 05, 2023 13:30 - 15:00(Europe/London)
20230705T1330 20230705T1500 Europe/London 4.18. Deindustrialization and Memory I: Communities NUBS 4.08 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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French Mining Memory: Between Documentation and Imagination
Individual paperDeindustrialisation and Reinventions 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
In the French (literary) imaginary coal mining is inexorably linked to 19th-century writer Émile Zola. In preparation for Germinal (1885), Zola visited the Anzin Company mines in the north of France and witnessed a miners' strike which not only allowed him to experience for himself the slow and long descent into the shaft, the difficulty and physicality of the miners' work, but also changed his plans for the novel. As Henri Mitterand explains: "the men he meets do not ask for blood of revenge, but, calmly, for better wages" ("Zola à Anzin" 40). Armed with his notes and his experience underground, Zola sets out to write "the struggle of capital and labor … revolution through hunger" ("plan for the novel"); the novel is a success and it is even reported that a delegation of miners accompanied Zola's funeral procession in 1902 chanting "Germinal, Germinal" (Sanvert, "Zola romancier populaire" 81).
In 1993, Claude Berri's film adaptation of Germinal breaks a record for most expensive French film at the time, employs around 8000 extras, and is nominated for 12 César awards (cineserie.com); the main filming location takes place in the Arenberg Fosse (about 10km north of the mine Zola visited). While the Arenberg mine is constructed in 1900, after the publication Zola's novel, because of the film, it has become synonymous with its fictional predecessor. In order to film the period drama, a fictional Germinal mine has to be constructed within a more technologically-advanced Arenberg mine; for instance, while horses were long gone in Arenberg, horse stables now figure on site, built for the film. Today, in addition to being a UNESCO world heritage site, the Arenberg mine has become a film studio, an event site, and a creative hub. Every week a local association called "The Friends of Germinal" offers guided tours by former miners: as of now, the mine has yet to be turned into a formal museum. 
This paper will focus on competing memories of the Arenberg mine. Indeed, while former miners continue the transmission of French mining memory on their tours, many of them were also extras on the set of the film. In fact, as one guide noted, by remembering Germinal, people do not remember the work conditions, the strikes, the health issues of miners of his generation. As some of the last living miners in France (the last mine closed in 2004), they contribute to the site's memory, but paradoxically also to its erasure. As a matter of comparison, I turn to Maylis de Kerangal's Kiruna (2019), which retells of the author's residency in Kiruna, Sweden, home to the world's largest iron-ore mine; she chose Kiruna to visit a mine that is still "active, loud and filled with people" as opposed to "a defunct industrial basin, recycled as a museum-like cultural site testifying to the past" (Kiruna 13). Nevertheless, I will show how the memory of Germinal, of French mining memory, runs through this text, in a pull between documentation and imagination.
Presenters
SS
Sonja Stojanovic
Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University
Labor, place, and loss in the transformations of East German shipyards
Individual paperDeindustrialisation and Reinventions 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
The East German shipbuilding industry has been undergoing major transformations for decades, as the case of the shipyards of the MV Werften shows: Once Volkseigene Betriebe of the GDR, they were privatized after the German reunification. After 1990, they experienced multiple divestments and, following their bankruptcy in January 2022, were sold to three different stakeholders – the city of Stralsund, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, and the German Navy. This ongoing process of transformation and decline also created a continuous state of uncertainties and fractures for the shipyard workers.
This paper is based on a research project that is in its initial stage right now and that will have its first empirical findings in spring 2023. It looks at the processes of multiple transformations of the MV Werften through the intersection of labor, loss, and place with a particular focus on gender and generation. Following Doreen Massey (1994, 1995), I understand places as dynamic constructions of powerful social relations that have multiple, temporary, and uncertain identities and are therefore inseparable from time. The history of a place can thus also be described as "layer upon layer of different sets of linkages, both local and to the wider world" (Massey, 1994, p. 156). This enables both, to pay attention to continuities of past developments and transformations, and to analyze how these continue to have an effect in the present – locally and globally. Further, regarding shipyards not only as places of economic importance but as places where cultural, symbolic and social relations are produced (Brunnbauer et al., 2022), this paper foregrounds how change in this industry affects everyday life as well as the attachment to place (High & Lewis, 2007). According to Reckwitz (2021), loss describes the disappearance of something in the temporal sequence of the social world. In order to be described as loss, however, this disappearance has to be perceived and interpreted as negative and painful. Paying particular attention to the theme of loss in the transformation of the MV Werften also raises questions concerning individual as well as collective strategies of adaption, resilience, and/or resistance towards (the threat of) loss. In doing so, this paper takes a closer look at how this transformation has (had) divergent impacts on workers of different generations as well as genders.

Presenters
NK
Nora Küttel
Postdoctoral Researcher, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Towards Communities of Change: engaging with Industrial Memory in Wearside and Tyneside’s Popular Cultural Scenes
Individual paperDeindustrialisation and Reinventions 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
In my PhD project Industrial Memory and North(east)ernness: A PopCultural Portfolio, I researched and demonstrated how in contemporary Tyne- and Wearside popular culture the industrial heritage of coal mining and shipbuilding is rearticulated and remembered as a way of accentuating a sense of English northernness particular to the post-industrial North East of England. The three areas of popular culture I focus on in my research are music scenes, football culture and temporary large scale exhibitions – all lived and practiced in the North East today.
For this upcoming conference of the Memory Studies Association which will be held in the North East of England, I would like to revisit some of the material, cultural artefacts, and interviews of this research that I was not able to include in the PhD to demonstrate how popular cultural collectives are an integral part of communities of change in Tyne and Wearside. I would like to demonstrate how small cultural collectives, such as the Sunderland AFC football fanzine A Love Supreme, the Indie and Folk music scene gathered around PopRecs and the arts and culture project Sunderland Cultural Spring are part of a collecting and recollecting the regions industrial past. For this purpose, I will collate a selection of culturally created texts from these scenes such as music lyrics, promotional videos, fanzines, and art work in combination with interview sections from Wearside cultural creators. Providing a cultural studies reading of the gathered materials I hope to demonstrate which elements of the regions industrial memory are drawn on by these cultural scenes popular on Wearside and to what effect they are used to contribute to a local community of change. Moreover, analysing those community networks as part of the reimagining of post-industrial city of Sunderland. This then will also be compared to the efforts of retaining and remembering the region's industrial heritage of coal mining and shipbuilding by prior established communities, such as the documentary movement from the Amber Collective, based in Newcastle's Quayside, and their documentary film, photographs and social engagement work to capture a changing North East during the major deindustrialisation phases. As such, this paper aims to also look at the memory and media practices such communities develop in response to societal and cultural changes as meaning making of deindustrialisation and the potential of these communities to reinvent through memory.
Presenters
VA
Victoria Allen
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin, Christan-Albrechts Universität Kiel
Memory and reinvention in the post-industrial periphery
Individual paperDeindustrialisation and Reinventions 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
The position of industry in western societies has been an uneasy and ambiguous one. While in strictly economic terms, industry was at the centre of capitalist development, in cultural and symbolic terms it occupied a peripheral and somehow concealed position in the bourgeois society. The physical location of industrial facilities was equally problematic; even if they sometimes occupied central positions in the cities, often along rivers or transport infrastructures, their presence and "visibility" were systematically diminished by urban planners that treated industry as an unwanted guest. In short, industrial sites occupied the same peripheral and marginalised position in the collective imagery as the working-class communities associated with them.
This marginalisation only increased in the wake of widespread deindustrialisation in the UK, with many areas suffering from high levels of unemployment and disability, alongside low levels of educational attainment and poor transport links (Beatty and Fothergill 1996). The relationship these industrial places have with their pasts has been extensively documented (see Linkon 2018; Pini et al, 2010; Walkerdine and Jimenez, 2012). However, there is a growing body of literature arguing that Halbwach's (1941), conceptualisation of collective memory also plays a role in constructing an affective sense of community in a contemporary context (see Walker, 2021).
Concurrently, many of the industrial sites once central to these communities are erased from the landscape only to be replaced with spaces and environments that are commodified, generic and devoid of meaningful associations (see for example Auge, 1992; Koolhaas, 2002). The geographic nature of memory as tied to place and site, is emphasised from Halbwach's early conceptualizations of collective memory, through to contemporary definitions of memory as mobile, unsettled and emergent in the face of material transformation (Hoskins, 2016). Therefore, the erasure or remodelling of these industrial sites has implications for the collective memory on which these areas continue to draw in the construction of community identity.
Drawing on a studio-based design inquiry, the authors investigate the implications of the material transformation of post-industrial sites (through architectural intervention) for collective memory and 'sense-of-place'. More specifically, the design inquiry is premised on the reinstatement of the Tyne Passenger Ferry and subsequent reinvention of riverfront sites in Hebburn, Wallsend and North Shields. These locations were once home to community-defining industries including coalmining and shipbuilding, but through processes of de-industrialisation have become some of the least diverse and most disadvantaged communities in the UK. These large industrial sites, now abandoned and boarded up, serve as barriers preventing communities from accessing the banks of the Tyne on which their industrial past depended.
Relevant themes will emerge through the design inquiry process, but it is anticipated these will include: discussions of erasure, and how collective memory and sense-of-place might be retained in the reinvention of these sites; toxicity and waste as heritage; unpicking the binaries of natural and artificial to understand the sites as hybrid environments where different ecologies, histories and memories overlap; how simulations of the future could shape memories and imaginings of the future.
Presenters
TH
Tara Hipwood
Assistant Professor, Northumbria University
PM
Pablo Martinez Capdevila
Assistant Professor, Northumbria University
postdoctoral researcher
,
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Assistant Professor
,
Texas Tech University
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin
,
Christan-Albrechts Universität Kiel
Assistant Professor
,
Northumbria University
Assistant Professor
,
Northumbria University
 Rebecca Dolgoy
Curator of Natural Resources and Industrial Technologies
,
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