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Traces of sight, sound, smell and touch; notions of space and material and immaterial heritage; built and natural environments as sites of memory: These are some of the central throughlines of recent research across humanities disciplines. How do we apply them to navigate complex pasts and address the pressing issues of the present?
Event details of Archives of Space, Sound & Material
16 April 2024
15:30 -17:00

This event marks the launch of four pioneering humanities research projects that explore sensory, artistic, and intellectual modes of knowledge production through different archives, including ethnographic sound recordings in Dutch collections, the spatial and cultural traces of gas extraction in the Netherlands, transnational histories of antinuclear and artistic networks preserved into activist archives, and the global legacy of extractivist supply chains involved in celluloid film production.

Each of these projects, and the sources they draw upon, is distinct. In conversation, however, they explore the continued presence of colonial and contested histories in a contemporary world at risk by asking: How can current humanities research meaningfully address questions of scale (from atomic to global), of toxicity (chemical, geological, radiological, colonial) and of repair? Can new ways of looking, analyzing and listening to archival material inform our engagement with contested pasts to guide us towards more equitable futures?

The launch event will consist of a presentation of the four research projects followed by a roundtable discussion moderated by Dr. Colin Sterling (UvA, Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM)).

・Audibilities of the Colonial Past: Dutch Sound Archives as History, Heritage and Data (Dr. Emily Clark, UvA, AHM)

・Uranium Matters: An Interdisciplinary Study of Radiotoxicity in the Arts (Dr. Kyveli Mavrokordopoulou, VU)

・Global Elements of Cinema: Tracing Agricultural Materials in the History of Celluloid Film Manufacturing (Dr. Marek Jancovic, VU)

・The Architecture of Gas: The Spatial Implications of Gas as an Energy Source in the Netherlands (1810-2022) (Dr. Iris Burgers, VU)

Location: Perdu Bookstore, Kloveniersburgwal 86, Amsterdam.