SMMAC

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.

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