Disturbing Pasts: Memories, Controversies and Creativity

Event Date: 
Tue, 20/11/2012 - 11:00 to Thu, 22/11/2012 - 17:00
Museum of Ethnology

 ‘Disturbing Pasts’ brings together artists, photographers, curators, policy makers and academics from around the world, with the aim of networking with one another and exploring creative engagements with controversial and traumatic pasts in art practice, curating and museums.

Traumatic pasts have complex and often dramatic influences on the present. In many countries, legacies of war, colonialism, genocide and oppression return again and again to dominate contemporary politics, culture and society. The controversies surrounding traumatic pasts can shape policy, make or break governments, trigger mass demonstrations, and even spark violent confrontation. These pasts also inspire rich visual and creative responses, through which the past is remembered, remade and challenged, and the public space of the modern museum is the primary venue for these responses.

Confirmed speakers include artists, curators, policy-makers and academics:

Peju Layiwola, Dierk Schmidt, T. Shanaathanan, Christopher Cozier, Rita Duffy, Paul Lowe, Rafał Betlejewski, Joanna Rajkowska, Heather Shearer, John Timberlake, Shan McAnena, Sofia Dyak, Wayne Modest, Liv Ramskjær, Maria Six-Hohenbalken, Margit Berner, Clara Himmelheber, Maruska Svasek, Fiona Magowan, Alexander Etkind, Uilleam Blacker, Andrij Portnow, Elizabeth Edwards, Sigrid Lien, Susan Legêne, Anette Hoffmann, Erica Lehrer, Simon Faulkner, Carol Tulloch

‘Disturbing Pasts’ marks a collaboration between three HERA-sponsored research consortia drawn from universities throughout Europe, in partnership with the Museum of Ethnology, Vienna. They are:

o   ‘Creativity and Innovation in a World of Movement’ (CIM) http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/CreativityandInnovationinaWorldofMovement/

o   ‘Photographs, Colonial Legacy and Museums in Contemporary European Culture’ (PhotoCLEC) http://www.heranet.info/photoclec/index

o   ‘Memory at War’ (MAW) http://www.memoryatwar.org/


The project will generate audio-visual material to be made available through the Open Arts Archive (www.openartsarchive.org) and published as a special issue of the Open Arts Journal (www.openartsjournal.org).