This colloquium will explore the role of memory practices in rural and urban landscapes mediated by smartphone and other mobile technologies – for instance, audio walks and audio hikes. The context for considering such mobile memory practices is the way that the lives, experiences and perspectives of women, LGBTQ+ communities, black and minoritised ethnic communities, migrant communities, and working-class communities are among those often absent or poorly represented in official historical archives. The importance of such representation and absence in the archive lies in the histories written on this basis – histories that contribute to the construction of social norms and relations, the construction of senses of place, and to imaginaries of belonging in particular places and landscapes.

The discussion in this colloquium will develop understandings of how mobile memory practices in rural and/or urban landscapes can help to construct new radical archives and counter-histories. The potential of these practices lies not only with the ability to engage with lives, experiences, perspectives, and communities often omitted from the official archive. It also lies in how smartphone and other mobile technologies allow a form of situated participatory history in which memories can be encountered within the landscapes and places they are associated with, and in which new contributions can be made to the archive while traversing the landscape itself. These techniques can thus facilitate memory-making practices that transform the making of place and imaginaries of belonging within landscapes.

The colloquium is run in association with the following University of Brighton CORES: Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories, Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics and the Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender. It is co-organised with Professor Dr Christiane Carri (featured above, HES-SO Valais-Wallis, Switzerland) who is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Brighton. Professor Dr Carri’s will start the event by introducing her research on creating an audio archive based on LGBTQ+ community-based oral histories in rural spaces.

The aim of the colloquium is to develop understandings and methods that bring together archival and oral history work with mobile technologies that enable public engagement in memory practices. It is intended to bring together academics (historians, social scientists, geographers, media studies scholars etc), community historians and activists, artists, writers, podcasters, and others to discuss these understandings and methods – and most of the event will be devoted to discussion among participants. It is also intended as a space in which potential future collaborations may be explored.

Programme:

12:00 – 12:30  Welcome and introductions

12:30 – 12:45 Creating an LGBTQ+ audio archive in rural spaces: Professor Dr Christiane Carri and Dr Jason Lim

12:45 – 14:00  Lunch

14:00 – 15:00  Discussion: World-café style discussion around the following themes:

  • Oral histories and other community histories
  • Problematising, remaking and animating archives
  • Engaging with and making archives through mobile mediated memory practices

The ideas behind these themes will be explained further during the day, but the content of the discussion will be driven by participants’ knowledge and expertise.

15:00 – 15:15  Break

15:15 – 16:15  Discussion continues (as above)

16:15 – 17:00  Plenary:

Presentation of the themed discussion by moderators

Discussion of the next steps

This event is to be held at the site at Edward Street : Room 105, 154-155 Edward Street, University of Brighton, BN2 0JG

Registration for the event is free, but places must be booked in advance. Please follow the link to book a place 

For queries, please contact Jason Lim: J.Lim@brighton.ac.uk

There will be a follow-up event 14:00-17:00 on Thursday 8 December (Room M2, Grand Parade, University of Brighton, BN2 0JY) focusing on further developing the methodology and technologies. More details to follow.