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Illusions and realities - the manufactory of the memory

Illusions et réalités : la fabrique de la mémoire

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Published on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 by Anastasia Giardinelli

Summary

Memory is inclusive of history, beliefs, rituals, symbols, knowledge, power and illusion. Through a diversity of artistic, literary and socio-political expressions, memory could take the form of a folk tale lullaby, entertaining chants and dances, personal visions framed by colors and forms, a tale that is brought to life through mechanical motion, or a politician’s speech in front of an engaged audience. Memory is, in sum, suggestive of a tangible and intangible heritage that is instrumental in constructing identities and collective imaginaries...

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Memory is inclusive of history, beliefs, rituals, symbols, knowledge, power and illusion. Through a diversity of artistic, literary and socio-political expressions, memory could take the form of a folk tale lullaby, entertaining chants and dances, personal visions framed by colors and forms, a tale that is brought to life through mechanical motion, or a politician’s speech in front of an engaged audience. Memory is, in sum, suggestive of a tangible and intangible heritage that is instrumental in constructing identities and collective imaginaries.

Grasping memory through the bias of human expression (cinema, photography, painting) is a perspective of double relevance, it invokes how memory is constituted through opposites that construct significance, and thus enunciate the process its transmission.

The following approaches suggest areas of reflection that seek to obtain answers and thus expand perspective on the possible link between illusion and reality, and their role in constructing and transmitting memory as a framework.

Ethnology and anthropology have appropriated notions of memory and illusion through the study of myth in relation to folk ceremonies. Such rituals offer a vibrant image of memory that is discernable through a narrative full of imagery and symbols, whose role is to narrate a history that consolidates identities. Therefore, what are the possible functions of ritual practices? How do they relate to memory and its transmission? What do ritual images include? What role does a ritual play within a collective of individuals?

Further, painting, photography and cinema have over the centuries invested in memory by restituting past eras and rendering visible what used to be invisible. By recalling memories, distorted memories, or those steeped in illusion, we go on an encounter of a faraway memory that shapes or manipulates our perception of events that shake the world.

Also, exploring memory from a sociological perspective is of significant relevance, as it examines social developments and patterns and how they impact each other. Movements of human migration demonstrate how memory can be mobile, distorted and restituted through narratives that derive from both reality and fiction. That said, sociology and cinema -film becomes an instrument and a means of collecting information[2]- play an important role in conserving and co-constructing memory. Therefore, filmic sociology becomes an instrument in producing scholarly information. The double aspect of filmic sociology- technical and methodological- is helpful in understanding contemporary social movements as spaces and subjects of production, usage and conflict around memory. This memory, as constructed, serves mainly as a framework that accommodates emerging social objects. The latter may be referred to as a memory of the future that makes discernible a number of issues, which shape emerging events. The role of painting, photography and cinema should not only target audiences in quest of entertainment, but should take on a didactic role that renders visible and discernible an unknown past, and therefore contribute to constituting the future. Hence, through what means do painting, photography and cinema restitute the future? What is the role of illusion and reality in this process? What would be their role in recovering a repressed or forgotten memory? What is the role of cinematographic productions in constituting the future?

The current geopolitical context, especially in the Mediterranean as a millennial space of memory’s circulation and transformation, poses questions related to memory or this exodus of illusions: How does sociology accounts for this mobile memory that evolves through trajectories and passers-by? What role does filmic sociology has in relation to social movements? What is the impact of migratory movements in preserving memory? What memory: one that is real or one that is informed by inaccessible illusions?

Finally, politics- a crossroads of illusions and realities- represents a symbolic space of a construction and deconstruction of collective memory and identity. In fact, documentary productions made on Morocco by the French during the colonial period raise a number of questions related to politics, memory and history. Geared towards a French audience in pursuit of the exotic, what memory have these documentaries produced and what collective imaginaries have they contributed to constructing? Moreover, storytelling and narrations of history, as well as political ritual are also forms that memory can take in the political domain. These practices that are common and touch on fiction and/or other symbolic elements constitute political language. How does a political actor demonstrate memory in their narration? What is the process through which a political ritual takes form and power and becomes consequently political power? What is the role of language in political language?

Conference themes

  1. Ethnology and anthropology (ethnographic images of Africa and the Mediterranean)
  2. Sociology and filmic sociology
  3. The making of the political
  4. Contested history and filmic memory about Morocco

 

Subjects

Places

  • Université Internationale de Rabat, Parc Technopolis Rabat-Shore Rocade Rabat salé, 11100 Sala El Jadida-salé-Maroc
    Salé, Kingdom of Morocco (11100)

Date(s)

  • Monday, December 31, 2018

Keywords

  • Mémoire, sociologie filmique, ethnologie, anthropologie.

Contact(s)

  • sara Mejdoubi
    courriel : sara [dot] mejdoubi [at] uir [dot] ac [dot] ma
  • Aziz Hlaoua
    courriel : hlaoua [dot] aziz [at] yahoo [dot] fr

Information source

  • sara Mejdoubi
    courriel : sara [dot] mejdoubi [at] uir [dot] ac [dot] ma

To cite this announcement

« Illusions and realities - the manufactory of the memory », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, November 21, 2018, https://calenda.org/507669

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