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Recognizing ethnic and social minorities in audiovisual archives in Europe: archival challenges, community ethics and inclusive heritage
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Film and Literature. (LNUC Intermedial and multimodal studies, IMS)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0068-8063
2018 (English)In: POEM Opening Conference: Participatory Memory Practices : Connectivities, Empowerment, and Recognition of Cultural Heritages in Mediatized Memory Ecologies. 13.-14.12.2018. Museum der Arbeit, 2018Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Heritage institutions, such as museums, galleries or archives, have been increasingly attempting to acknowledge ethnic and social minorities (Steorn 2012; Sandell & Nightingale 2012; Axelsson & Åkerö 2016; National Trust 2017). They are some of the stakeholders in the process of heritage construction during which different interest groups negotiate political recognition (Smith, 2007). Attempts to counter previous the marginalization of lives and histories in collection and exhibition practice have coincided with diversity politics and the digital turn. Curating access to digitised collections still implies a number of challenges for official heritage institutions. Most prominently discussed are technological and legal issues, such as the interoperability of metadata and legal aspects, such as national property rights legislation. Less observed are today’s national directives and regulations for diversity politics with their quest for an inclusive heritage. Situated at the interface of film studies and memory studies, my paper will look at archiving as a ‘memory work’, intended to create future engagements with the past. Memory is understood as constantly in flux, as dynamic, transnational and transcultural (Rigney 2009, 2012 Erll 2011, 2014), as entangled, multidirectional (Rothberg 2009), always situated and pervaded by power relations (Radstone/Hodgkin 2010) and as mediated (Brunow 2015).

The insight that memories are always mediated still needs further theorization, especially in terms of the production and circulation of images and narratives. My current research looks at the remediation of archival footage as an intervention into our audiovisual memory, which I have defined as the images circulating in a specific society at a given historical moment. My research project “The Cultural Heritage of the Moving Image”, financed by the Swedish Research Council, look at the practices of recognition in national and grass-root film archives.

Drawing on the findings of my current research project “The Cultural Memory of the Moving Image” (Swedish Research Council 2016-2018 I will look at the works of audiovisual archives and their politics of recognizing diversity when curating access to digitized collections. In my research project I have been examining access strategies to digitised collections in national film archives in Sweden and the UK, as well as in community archives in Europe and the US. It analyses how film archives in Sweden and the UK, following their diversity policies, address and mobilise notions of ‘queer’, ‘Black’, ‘roma’ or ‘sami’, recognising and making visible marginalised lives and histories and how they negotiate the risks of increased visibility. In this approach, the archive is positioned as an object of analysis, shifting the focus on the archive as a site of knowledge retrieval to a site of knowledge production (Foucault, 1972; Stoler, 2002). Instead of examining how minorities as a priori identities are included in the archives, I suggest studying the processes of regulation according to which different lifestyles and experiences become ‘acknowledgeable’ (Schaffer, 2008; Thomas et al., 2017).

Archival practices enacting recognition and regulation include the choice of metadata, the modes of selection for public screenings and online exhibition and the curation and contextualisation of online content. The case studies will be the BFI Player, the online portal of the British Film Institute, and the Swedish website Filmarkivet.se, which has created access to some of the digitised collections from the Swedish National Film Archives, administered by the Swedish Film Institute (SFI) and the Royal Library (KB). I argue that collaborations between official film archives and community archives with their participatory memory work are highly necessary. Drawing on case studies regarding the recognition of ethnic minorities as well as LGBTQ-lives I will give an overview over possible modes of collaborations setting out to rework hegemonic scopic regimes, attempting to walk the fine line between surveillance and empowerment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
film archives, diversity, recognition, curating access, metadata management, power
National Category
Studies on Film
Research subject
Humanities, Film Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-79204OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-79204DiVA, id: diva2:1270659
Conference
POEM Opening Conference : Participatory Memory Practices : Connectivities, Empowerment, and Recognition of Cultural Heritages in Mediatized Memory Ecologies. 13.-14.12.2018. Museum der Arbeit
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2018-12-14 Created: 2018-12-14 Last updated: 2019-06-26Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf