Memoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) NUBS 3.15
Jul 07, 2023 09:00 - 10:30(Europe/London)
20230707T0900 20230707T1030 Europe/London 8.15. Experimental memoryscapes NUBS 3.15 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023
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Retracing and Preserving Community Heritage and Memory through the Ecomuseum idea: Case study on activities in Malanyu Town, Hebei, China
Individual paperCreative Approaches to Memory 09:00 AM - 10:30 AM (Europe/London) 2023/07/07 08:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/07 09:30:00 UTC
This study investigates the vanishing memory and identity of the tomb caretakers' descendant communities at the Imperial Tombs of Qing dynasty in China, examining the community activities that guided by the ecomuseum idea and aimed to preserve the vanishing memory and associated heritage in Malanyu Town where one of the communities located in. We argue that due to unrest and changes of the social landscape over a hundred years, the descendant communities have lost their identity as tomb caretakers and the associated memories are rapidly disappearing, resulting in negative phenomenon of fragmented local culture, heritage and narratives. Therefore, reshaping and preserving these memories and heritage is imminent, which requires contributions and supports by the community members. In this case, the ecomuseum idea has been adopted as an approach, which was developed in the new museology movement, highlighting the in-depth community participation in interpreting and safeguarding local heritage. The fieldwork was conducted in the descendant communities in Hebei Province, China in 2020. In the first phase of the fieldwork, interviewees from the communities provided oral history related to the memory and identity of tomb caretakers and opinions on preserving associated culture and heritage. Then in the second phase of the fieldwork, several community activities that linked to build an ecomuseum were launched in one of the communities for reshaping and preserving their heritage and narratives that related to the memory and identity. By analysing the results of oral history interviews the transition timeline of the community memory and identity was generated and the reasons for the changes are clarified. The study also found that community-involved activities led by the ecomuseum idea are conducive to restoring community cultural atmosphere, recording and preserving community memory and heritage, as well as establishing a complete local narrative, by observing the implementation process of community activities.
Presenters Meng Li
PhD Candidate, University Of Leeds
Gehan Selim
Hoffman Wood Professor Of Architecture , University Of Leeds
Cycles Repeating. "Unforgiving: A Northern Hymn" and The Adaptation of Folklore Into Horror Games.
Individual paperMemoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/07 22:00:00 UTC

Unforgiving: A Northern Hymn (2017) is a survival horror game rooted deeply in Swedish Folklore and Norse mythology. Contemporary attitudes towards folklore seem to relegate it to be fiction from the past - the same affectation of respect for 'true' histories are disallowed to their previously held-to-be-true folkloric counterparts. The integration of folklore into the core mechanisms of survival in the affective climate of a horror game seeks to disperse the disparagement of folklore and reinstate it to its previous position as information tantamount to player/character survival. Embodiment towards the avatar creates intrinsic affective links which serve to increase the retention of memory regarding folklore embedded within the gameplay. 
The Affect-Modulated Startle reaction has seen supporting research to suggest that negative affect (such as fear) can increase the preservation of memory (Campeau, Liang, & Davis, 1990), making a fictional horror game rife with the potential to conserve memories of folklore. Mental simulation is a key touchstone of human cognition and has strong implications to the memory processes of an individual. It has been proven that a context which is negatively valent creates a greater startle reflex in individuals (Vrana, Lang, 1990), and this implication of greater physical bodily coupling between player and avatar further immerses them into the narrative in which survival is thoroughly enmeshed with the recognition of folklore-as-true in the diegetic context. Although the game medium suggests fiction in itself, the clear exposition and affecting landscape creates a spatially explorative world in which the folklore is true, and the player must inhabit it, with the knowledge that they are encountering a likewise 'true' representation. 
The 'memory' of the historical folklore is shared and connected to specific spatial sites within the space, and the player must navigate this space for their own safety – the avatar forcibly walking the space in which the folklore is entrenched creates a spatial-temporal atmosphere in which the past is encountered in a cyclical present tense. Horror games specifically work with the present tense more so than other genres – the startle (or "surprise") affect is Tomkins' only neutral, present tense affect. It is a embodied, emotive status which relies upon the future explanation of past stimulus, and as such maintains the player in the liminal. 
The affect of horror combines with the folkloric elements in order to manifest a core relationship with the representations shown through the use of hyperreality (Terashima, 2005). Additionally, the core embodiment of the player to their avatar creates a stronger entwinement to the narrative as a whole, as Kabir indicated in their work on Affect and Trauma Theory, "affect-worlds are epidermal and haptic" (2014). This talk will outline how the adaptation of folklore into a specifically terror-inducing ludic climate works to reinstate and retain knowledge regarding the heritage of the source material
Jennifer Cooke
PhD Candidate, Newcastle University
Digital Memoryscapes, Virtual Reality and the Visibility of Memories of Violence
Individual paperMemoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/07 22:00:00 UTC
Digital spaces and practices of commemoration are new additions to transitional justice activities. They serve as evidence collections and crowd sourcing documentation and have become accessible alternatives for memorialization activities. These digital memoryscapes visualize violence and loss and are used to both mourn the past and to protest ongoing violence and destruction. Thus, this paper is concerned with how digital memoryscapes shape memory activism and memory agency. More specifically, the paper critically asks whether and how virtual reality can offer meaning and be a carrier of emotion? How are key affective dimensions such as intimacy and authenticity visually constituted in digital commemorative spaces? Through a visual and narrative analysis of the virtual reality sites of Nobody's Listening that uses 360-degree film-making to convey the genocide against Yazidi by ISIS, and the AdLib virtual wall project that memorializes street art in war-torn Syria, the paper argues that virtual reality techniques make violence visible and invisible in novel ways with political and aesthetic implications for transitional justice. Thus, this paper can be regarded a contribution to the expanding field of visual memory studies. It does so by bringing transitional justice and digital memory spaces into dialogue. 
Annika Björkdahl
Professor, Lund University
Johanna Mannergren
Associate Professor, Södertörn University
PhD Candidate
Newcastle University
Lund University
PhD Candidate
University of Leeds
Jagiellonian University, Krakow
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