Memoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) NUBS 4.23
Jul 06, 2023 11:00 - 12:30(Europe/London)
20230706T1100 20230706T1230 Europe/London 6.18. Mapping memoryscapes NUBS 4.23 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023
22 attendees saved this session
Mapping Memory of the ‘Everyday’- A Study on Digital Archives of Journalistic Photographs in Post Pandemic India.
Individual paperMemoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 10:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 11:30:00 UTC
The twenty-first century archival turn along with destabilizing thoughts on ownership, authenticity, and remediation also raises pertinent questions on the multicentricity in archival memory. Visual complexity (Jay 95) and 'tacit knowing' (Polanyi 34) that we seem to have transcended crystallized into digital chaos, reinforcing and restructuring 'the macula', especially with the onset of Covid-19 in India. The pandemic further condensed what Shoshana Zuboff calls the 'behavioural surplus', where our already broadcasted privacy into the global data ecosystem determining our 'everyday' transformed into inevitable structures of security and sustenance. This 'architecture of oppression' nullifies the chaos and deconstructs 'event-oriented sense of time', essentially locating us in a historical 'moment of danger' where we are trapped in a targeted, polarized, manipulated, pandemic-reconfigured urban digital space. 
The "eventful" which occurred outside of the digital world swiftly dissolved into a series of "unprecedented happenings" which we had to access online, gradually liquefying into numerous far-off "unevents." The bio-bubble fundamentally warped and validated our perception of reality in relation to digital screen time- shifting 'meaning- making' immediately online.  This paper, therefore, attempts a textual study of journalistic photographs of a few feministic and anti-caste movements in Kerala and India before the onset of the pandemic and traces the visual economy of these photographs through two tangents- representation of caste and gender over the period in the respective digital archives. It ponders over the idea of an 'event' generally political and how the pandemic-induced bio-bubble affected these political 'events' into becoming 'un-events' and interrogates how this 'architecture of oppression' nullified both these representations- caste and gender during the pandemic. It proposes that the un-eventful, essentially repetitive codified our memory sourced on the digital-visual into what Alison Landsberg calls the 'Prosthetic memory" and that this whole process was regulated and executed by what Shoshana Zuboff calls "surveillance capitalism." The paper also enquires into the possibilities of utilizing these digital 'memoryscapes' of everyday as tools of 'counter-memory' and 'microhistory', especially with the new 'Digital India Act' and attempts to examine the mediation between individual digital mobility, digital archives, and collective prosthetic memory in reclaiming 'the oppressed past' from 'homogenous empty time', especially in post-pandemic India.
Greeshma C P
Research Scholar , The English And Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India.
The Role of Civic Authorities and Alternative Vested Interest Groups in Commemorating National History at Local Heritage Sites; Or, Where Are England’s Civil War Battlefield Museums?
Individual paperMemoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 13:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 14:30:00 UTC
Motoring around rural England, Lord Halifax told local newspapers in 1948, he had been struck by the sheer lack of attention to commemorating England's great battlefields. Even at Naseby, perhaps the most significant battle of the English Civil War, the only memorial was a solitary obelisk. In contrast, he observed, through the memorials and museums at Gettysburg in the USA "one was able to see just what had happened throughout the battle". It was, he concluded, due to a sorry lack of interest in Britain's military past. 
This paper will explore how the battlefields of the English Civil War have been memorialized, from the early attempts at commemoration through family and dynastic memorials through to continued struggle of passionate groups to build memorials, visitor centres, and museums on these sites. Drawing on newspapers, campaign materials, online discussion, and the records of heritage projects both successful and failed, it will trace the key battlefields of the war – especially Edgehill, Marston Moor, and Naseby – from the end of the conflict in 1649 through to the present day.
In doing so it will explore how these case studies offer up a fascinating insight into the roles of civic authorities and vested interest groups in trying to commemorate national history at these local sites. Whilst issues of land-ownership and competing jurisdictions have influenced attempts to commemorate the battle sites, in others those involved have been drawn into difficult negotiations over what is both desirable and possible when it comes to national history on a local level. How national history is enacted, drawn upon, and reframed on a local level, this paper will show, is intimately connected to how England's Civil War battlefields have been presented, or neglected, for public engagement.   
Sarah Betts
Doctoral Candidate, University Of York
Memory and Non-Hegemonic Knowledge under Socialism. Occult Actors in Poland before 1989
Individual paperBeyond Disciplinary Communities 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC
Polish history and society are often viewed as having been determined by two factors: the Catholic church and the communist rule. As a consequence, studies in Polish culture mainly refer to these aspects, and tend to overlook significant trends and nuances of the late socialist period. One of them is Western Esotericism – a mode of knowledge (called by Maren Sziede and Helmut Zander 'non-hegemonic knowledge') amazingly immune to 'rational', materialistic criticism, and even political persecution.
Although the Second World War and the first years of the communist regime considerably impaired the once lively Polish occult scene, local esoterically interested groups emerged already in the late 1940s. In the 1970s and 1980s, there were a number of smaller societal circles focusing on paranormal phenomena, some of them having their own publishing houses or working with state publishing institutions. What is important, Western esotericism attracted not only journalists and artists but also academic staff, and even some priests.
As a result of the transition of 1989, there emerged an immense market for publishing houses, television and film productions, for entertainment magazines as well as guidebooks on various currents of non-hegemonic knowledge. At present, the esoteric market in Poland is estimated to be worth about three milliard zlotys (over 540 million pounds). 
In my presentation, I will, first, introduce the most influential occult actors and the forms and channels of transmission of esoteric knowledge (titles of cultural magazines, series of publications) in the 1970s and 1980s. In a next step, I will try to answer the following questions: Who of the astrologers, practitioners of psychotronics, rebirthing, or dowsers active during the socialist period are referred to today by their successors, and how are they remembered? Who of those pathbreakers is regarded as mothers resp. fathers of esoteric knowledge in postsocialist Poland, and for what reasons? And how strong–or weak–is the awareness of the Polish esoteric scene from the communist period reflected dozens of paranormal websites and magazines? I will also address contextually the earlier esoteric tradition, that of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Presenters Monika Bednarczuk
D.Litt / Ass. Prof., University Of Bialystok, Poland
Fragments of a lost past: Mapping everyday memories of residents of Bhabanipur locality in Kolkata
Individual paperMemoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC
The decline in the importance of 'the local' can be felt deeply in the world of connectivity. As McDowell (1999) mentions, with the increase in the global negotiations and shrinkage of physical distances (through increasing communication on virtual mediums), the concepts of localities or home might get blurred especially the 'sense of place'. Loughran et al. (2016) considers that memories can play a very important role in the context of considering localities as placeholders of collective ideas and characters. The stories can act as interesting building bricks of not just personal family histories but also create community remembrances. Memories help anchor the distinct characteristics of localities, giving more meaning to the neighbourhoods through exploring its history and heritage. 
The locality of Bhabanipur is situated within the city of Kolkata. Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta has an urbanization history which lies in its colonial past. The city was formed by urbanism of villages into a bustling trading town. Bhabanipur, lying in the south of the old city, was initially part of a village. In 1889 Bhabanipur became integrated as a part of the city of Calcutta (Municipal Records, March, 1886). The locality was newer compared to the older parts of the city (Chitpur in north Kolkata is said to be around 400 years old, older than the city as it existed as part of the Sutanuti village). Indigenous writers describing the cultural and social aspects of the city, concentrate most of their observations to North Kolkata (Hutom Pnechar Naksha, 1861). It is only in the beginning of the 20th century that we find significant streams of migration to the southern parts of the city. Bhabanipur became an upscale locality, with bungalows of the rich Bengalis. Later it attracted the intelligentsia and 1930s onwards it witnessed a rise in its popularity with eminent film stars, writers, film makers and politicians settling here. Several ethnic minority communities also started living here, giving a cosmopolitan colour to the locality. In the present context, Bhabanipur's former glory has dwindled, with further outmigration to city outskirts, changes in the ethnic compositions and a general dilapidation of most old houses.  This cultural growth (or stagnation?), mostly remains undocumented as a locality.
This paper delves into the everyday lives of residents of the Bhabanipur locality, of how the 'home' and the 'locality' is an echo of the yesteryears that have been superimposed to form a larger part of the mosaic of the present. It walks one through memories of home, place, belonging- bringing out the complex nature of how memories shape our geographic understandings of space. Detailed interviews of the residents of the locality ranging from conversations and remembrances through objects, maps and memory games are the main methods of research. This paper is an attempt to capture 'memories' through 'place-making' and its context in the present world.
locality, collective memory, memory map, placemaking, home
Debika Banerji
Lecturer, The Bhawanipur Education Society College
D.Litt / Ass. Prof.
University of Bialystok, Poland
The Bhawanipur Education Society College
Doctoral Candidate
University of York
Research Scholar
The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India.
Ms Lotte Dijkstra
PhD Researcher School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape
Newcastle University
Fukuyama City University
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