AccueilArchives that matter

Archives that matter

Digital infrastructures for sharing unshared histories in the colonial archives

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Publié le mercredi 20 décembre 2017 par Céline Guilleux

Résumé

2017 marks the centennial for Denmark’s sale of the colony “The Danish West Indies” to the United States, today the US Virgin Islands. For this occasion, archives in Denmark are undertaking a mass-digitisation of their archival records from St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John, Ghana and the transatlantic enslavement trade. The symposium brings artists and researchers together across geographies to collaboratively innovate and develop “critical fabulations”, transgressive decolonial methodologies and artistic research approaches to open up the digital archives.

Annonce

Within the DARIAH-EU annual theme of "Cultural Heritage & Humanities Research" we are happy to announce the symposium Archives that Matter.

Argument

2017 marks the centennial for Denmark’s sale of the colony “The Danish West Indies” to The United States, today the US Virgin Islands. For this occasion, The Danish National Archive, The Royal Danish Library’s Photo and Map Collection, as well as other archives and collections in Denmark, are undertaking a mass-digitisation of their archival records from St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John, Ghana and the transatlantic enslavement trade. The National Archive alone has scanned more than 1.2 kilometres of shelf space, adding up to more than 5 million digital scans. The records are said to be among the best preserved from the transatlantic enslavement trade and many are included on UNESCO’s world heritage list. After the sale, Denmark abducted the archives, leaving the inhabitants of the US Virgin Islands without access to approximately 250 years of their history.

While mass-digitisation of archival records carries a promise of free circulation, distribution and easier access to the archives, they also give rise to new ethical, political, aesthetic and methodological questions concerning the re-use and dissemination of this highly sensitive material. Yet, few funds have been allocated to devising pedagogical and ethical strategies for how to digitally repatriate the material. The symposium and workshop Archives that Matters hopes to contribute to this necessary field of interest and lay the groundwork for new best practices for the construction of shared public digital heritage infrastructures that goes beyond national and colonial boundaries.

Archives that Matters is in particular devoted to exploring what stories lie untold in the masses of digitized material. What overlooked narratives are yet to be explored and what happens when we gather scholars and artists from the US Virgin Islands, Ghana, Europe and Denmark to unearth the digital vaults. The symposium asks: What are the new sites of forgetfulness and unspeakability created by the digitization of the colonial archives? How do the digital archives extend the ramifications of the racial and colonial structures today? How to account for and transmit the viscerality of the archive (touch, smell, taste, pain & violence) in the digital files? And how to create shared infrastructures for re-use of the archival material that fosters radical, creative, decolonial and technological collaborations across communities?

The symposium brings artists and researchers together across geographies to collaboratively reflect on these questions in a workshop-like setting that aims to innovate and develop “critical fabulations”, transgressive decolonial methodologies and artistic research approaches to open up the digital archives. Methods that will help shed light on the concern of reuse of digital colonial records but also help to make the archives more accessible to international users and to create best practices for future engagements. The symposium will be followed by a week-long workshop where artists, researchers and students are invited to create novel research and work in the archives. With Archives that Matter we thus hope to critically shape emerging regimes of knowledge within the current turn to digitisation of cultural heritage, develop best practices and new methodologies.

Provisional Programme

30th of January

Location The Royal Library, Copenhagen.

  • 09.15 – 10.15: Tour of exhibition Blind Spots The Royal Danish Library: Mette Kia Krabbe & Mathias Danbolt
  • 10.15 Coffee
  • 10.30-10.45 Welcome & Introduction Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld

10.45 Sharing unshared histories

  • 10.45 – 11.30 Oceana James: Title Tba
  • 11.45- 12.30 Nana Oforiatta Ayim: Title Tba
  • 12.30-13.00 Panel Discussion: Oceana James, Nana Oforiatta Ayim, Mette Kia Krabbe & Mathias Danbolt  

Moderator: TBA

13.00 Lunch

13.45 Creating sensitive infrastructures for contested archives online

  • 13.45 – 14.00 Introduction Nanna Bonde Thylstrup: Death of the Demo
  • 14.00 – 14.20 Kim Jacobsen: Title tba
  • 14.20 – 14.40 Koraljka Kuzman Slogar: Ethical concerns in digitsation and reuse of war archives in Croatia.

15 minutes break

  • 14.55 – 15.15 Lene Asp: Mapping a Colony
  • 15.20 – 16.00 Panel discussion moderator: Marianne Ping Huang

16 Break

Location: Sorte Firkant

17.00 Artistic Interventions in the Archives:

  • 17.00 – 17.30 Dorothy Amenuke, Title Tba.
  • 17.30 – 18.00 David Berg: Title TBA

break: 18.15

  • 18.15 - 18.40 Archive Hvid[me], Annarosa Holm & Miriam Haile: Title Tba, conversation moderated by Daniela Agostinho

19.00 Dinner at Sorte Firkant

31st of January

Location The Danish National Archive,

  • 10 am: Visit to The Danish National Archive

10 – 11: “99 Questions to the Historian”: walkthrough of The West Indian and Ghanaian archives.

Location: Academy of Fine Arts,

11.20: Temi Odumosu: Title Tba.

Workshop tool-box for decolonising design infrastructures for the digital archives.

  • 13.00 wrap up and lunch.
  • 14.00 Meeting for workshop participants who will stay for entire workshop

Registration

Please note that space is limited. To sign up for the symposium please write katrinedh@gmail.com no later than January 19 2018.

Organization

The symposium is organised by Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld and Nanna Bonde Thylstrup and The Uncertain Archives Research Group, University of Copenhagen, in Collaboration with The Royal Danish Library and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

The symposium is kindly supported by DARIAH EU, CEMES & The Past’s Future University of Copenhagen & The Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

Lieux

  • Søren Kierkegaards Plads 1
    Copenhague, Danemark

Dates

  • mardi 30 janvier 2018
  • mercredi 31 janvier 2018

Mots-clés

  • digital, cultural, heritage, archive, colonialim

Contacts

  • Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld
    courriel : katrinedh [at] gmail [dot] com

URLS de référence

Source de l'information

  • Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld
    courriel : katrinedh [at] gmail [dot] com

Pour citer cette annonce

« Archives that matter », Colloque, Calenda, Publié le mercredi 20 décembre 2017, http://calenda.org/427938