Building on the 2013 meeting in Santiago, “Women Creating Change: Mobilizing Memory for Action” explores the politics of memory in the aftermath of the atrocities of the twentieth century in comparative global perspective from the unique perspective of social difference. Focusing on the shaping role of gender in the structures of war, militarism and political violence, the working group analyzes the strategies by which women artists, scholars and activists have succeeded in mobilizing the memory of gender-based violence to promote redress, social justice, and a democratic future. Looking specifically at gendered memory politics in Turkey, and its Kurdish and Armenian communities, the group will analyze these in a broader comparative context.
At the same time, it will probe the limits of comparative and connective approaches to memory politics. It will also look closely at the political efficacy of various media of memory, ranging from visual art, literature, journalism and performance to museums, memorials, and street actions. What role do these various media play in combatting the erasure of past violence from current memory and in creating new visions and new histories for future generations? The collaborations among the participants in the working group aim to create a space of solidarity and connection and lay the groundwork for a more hopeful future.
The meeting will consist of an art exhibit and artist talks on “Witnessing” at DEPO Gallery in Istanbul; two theater performances and post-performance discussions; documentary film showings and discussions; and a series of working group and public roundtables over five days on memory, media, gender and activism.
The Istanbul workshop is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Social Difference; The Blinken European Institute; the Columbia Global Center | Turkey, Istanbul, Turkey; the DEPO Gallery, Istanbul; the Truth Justice Memory Center, Istanbul; the Frederich Ebert Foundation; and the Gender Forum at Sabanci University.
Lecture 2: “Framing Children: The Holocaust and After”
2 April 2014, 7:30 p.m., Kane Hall Room 220, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Photographs of school classes appear very early in the history of photography and are pervasive in individual and family albums throughout the world. This year’s Stroum Lectures examine the historical, memorial, and aesthetic dimensions of school photographs from a comparative Jewish perspective. The lectures explore photography’s ideological role from the 19th century through World War II, a span of decades wherein the political climate for Jews shifted from emancipation and integration to exclusion, persecution, and genocide. Reflecting on the afterlives of these images in memorial and artistic installations, the talks also suggest that school photographs can represent the possibility of resistance and subversion—even during the most challenging time in the Jewish people’s history. The first lecture, focusing on class images from the 19th and early 20th century, examines practices of assimilation that are revealed in photographs from educational establishments intended for the “civilization” of indigenous and African American children in North America and from schools attended by Jewish children in Habsburg-ruled Central Europe. The second lecture looks at the process of exclusion of Jews in 20th-century Central Europe by way of school pictures taken in the 1920′s and ’30s, as well as in sanctioned and clandestine schools – some, in ghettos and camps – in the years of the Holocaust.
This year’s Stroum Lecturers are Dr. Marianne Hirsch, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and Dr. Leo Spitzer, the Kathe Tappe Vernon Professor of History at Dartmouth College. Among numerous publications on the Holocaust and Jewish culture, they have co-authored Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory (University of California Press, 2010).
Photographs of school classes appear very early in the history of photography, in American Indian Boarding schools; and they are pervasive in individual and family albums throughout the world. Despite their ubiquity as potent media for recall and memorialization, class photos have received little critical attention. This talk examines the ideological deployment as well as the historical, memorial, and aesthetic dimensions of class photographs as a vernacular genre. Reflecting specifically on the exclusion of Jews in 20th century Central Europe, it looks at school pictures taken in the 1920s and 30s, as well as during the years of the Holocaust in sanctioned and clandestine schools (some in ghettos and camps). It analyzes both historical images and critical re-framings by contemporary artists who expose photography’s ideological role within political climates that shifted from emancipation and integration to exclusion, persecution and genocide.
Sponsored by: Seminar on Politics, Literature and the Arts, Mahindra Humanities Center
Photographs of school classes appear very early in the history of photography and are pervasive in individual and family albums throughout the world. Despite their ubiquity as potent media for recall and memorialization, class photos have received little critical attention. This talk examines the ideological deployment as well as the historical, memorial, and aesthetic dimensions of class photographs as a vernacular genre. Reflecting specifically at the process of exclusion of Jews in 20th century Central Europe, it looks at school pictures taken in the 1920’s and 30s, as well as in sanctioned and clandestine schools – some, in ghettos and camps – in the years of the Holocaust. It analyzes both historical images and critical re-framings by contemporary artists who expose photography’s ideological role within political climates that shifted from emancipation and integration to exclusion, persecution and genocide.
The art-research conference “Doing Memory” examines artistic practices in the context of the politics of memory and visual research, primarily in Austria and Israel.
Marianne Hirsch will discuss “postmemory”, a term that describes the relationship that the ‘generation after’ bears to the personal, collective, and cultural trauma of those who came before – to experiences they ‘remember’ only by means of the stories, images, and behaviors among which they grew up.
In connection with this conference, there will be an art exhibit April 10-May 4: Cambodia, The Memory Workshop: Artworks by Vann Nath, Séra, and Emerging Cambodian Artists. Official exhibit opening April 10, 6-8 p.m. Registration required, please click here.
Conference opens on April 10th at 2:30 p.m. with keynote by Marianne Hirsch (Columbia University) and Leo Spitzer (Dartmouth College): Small Acts of Repair: The Unclaimed Legacy of Transnistria
The aftermath of mass murders is felt not only by the victims and their families but also by their descendants, who find themselves in the paradoxical situation of suffering the psychological effects of events they did not experience themselves.
It is this transmission of trauma that the notion of postmemory – developed in 1997 by Marianne Hirsch in her book Family Frames: Photography Narrative and Postmemory, and more recently in her 2012 book The Generation of Postmemory — attempts to describe. Hirsch demonstrates how an indirect form of memory may develop in individuals who did not experience a traumatic event personally but feel its active presence within their family.
Since postmemory is unable to draw on precise recollections, great importance is given to imagination and creation. Art has a major part to play in this process, since in some cases it is only through the works created by survivors that subsequent generations can access the traumatic event. Art also constitutes an ideal means for later generations to attempt to imagine an unknown past and discover its implications in their lives.
The conference and art exhibit are part of the city-wide Season of Cambodia Festival. The events at the Maison Francaise aim to examine how the arts and other creative forms harness indirect memory and ensure its transmission through a variety of archives and traces. Although the Cambodian genocide will be the primary focus, other genocides of the 20th century, such as the Holocaust and the Armenian and Rwandan genocides, will be discussed in a comparative perspective.
For conference program and more information, please visit Season of Cambodia Festival: Creation and Postmemory or http://seasonofcambodia.org/event/art-healing-and-transformation/
For more information, please visit http://www.fordham.edu/practices_of_memory
“Generation of Postmemory” Discussion and Celebration
11 February 2013, 7-9pm, Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics, NYU (20 Cooper Square, 5th floor. Please note: Photo ID is required to enter NYU buildings)
Join us for a book discussion and celebration on “The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust (Columbia University Press, 2012), Roundtable with Marianne Hirsch, Andreas Huyssen, Kellie Jones, Leo Spitzer and Marita Sturken, Moderated by Diana Taylor
For more information, please visit http://www.litra.ugent.be/events.html#memory_unbound
For more information, please visit http://www.bfny.org/
Featuring Karen Engle (U of Texas), Judith Halberstam (USC), Marianne Hirsch (Columbia U), and Michael Rothberg (Illinois). Moderated by Brett Kaplan (Illinois)
For more information, please visit http://www.jewishculture.illinois.edu/events/lectures/
For more information, please visit http://www.theiaba.org/?page_id=187
Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer (Columbia University)
‘Small Acts of Repair:’
The Unclaimed Legacy of Transnistria’
For more information, please visit http://www.memoryatwar.org/events