The stories we tell - Engaging archives otherwise - 2021-2022
The stories we tell matter. It matters not only what they say about others and ourselves but also how we craft them. This seminar series engages scholars and artists of the middle east working across disciplines and national boundaries for a set of crossed conversations on critical and creative archival practices. The current political moment and the ravages of empire across the region demand that we unlearn and rethink forms of knowing to foreground histories and struggles on the margins. We envisage this series as a way to collectively explore methods and approaches at the intersection of social science and artbased research that can nourish and transform historical and ethnographic storytelling. In doing so we consider what constitutes an archive and what are the challenges of producing, collecting and interpreting primary sources - from state collections, canonical texts and journals to family histories, folk songs, audiovisual material, urban sites and seeds.
- November 3 - SMMAC "Failed But Not Forgotten: Oil Media in Iraq Before 1958" & "Archival Regimes of Extraction: Contested Petromodernity in Iran and its Visual Undercurrents"
- November 30 - SMMAC "Monument Stories: Cities of the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula through Monument Biographies" & "A Decolonial Rage Against Monuments"
- December 15 - SMMAC "Printscapes of Solidarity: Palestine, Art and Revolution in Beirut’s long '60s" & "Pedagogies and Archives of Solidarity: the case of Tokyo Posters"
- February 16 - SMMAC "Reading with Children of the Nakba" & "The Impossibilities of Representation: Frictional Conversations in Burj al-Shamali Camp"
- March 16 - SMMAC "Could the Archives Lie? The Disappeared Train" & "Historicizing Egypt’s Aswan High Dam as a story within a story within a story"
- April 27 - SMMAC "Seed Conservation; Creating New Worlds" & "Couscous: Seeds of Dignity"