Archival Re-enactments Symposium 22-23 March 2016

Photographs of Luanda Carneiro Jacoel by Åsmund Kaupang and Jacek Smolicki, used with permission.

Photographs of Luanda Carneiro Jacoel by Åsmund Kaupang and Jacek Smolicki, used with permission.

Archival Re-enactments Symposium
22-23 March 2016
@ Inter Arts Centre, Malmö (

This is an open invitation to attend a PERFORMANCE RESEARCH EVENT addressing archiving and memory, featuring work by Sasha Huber, Joan Laage, Luanda Carneiro Jacoel, and Lise Aagard Knudsen & Karen Eide Bøen. We will continue a dialogue initiated during the Somatic Archiving Symposium last year, which is part of the Performing Memory strand of the Living Archives Research Project at Malmö University.

Memory practices do not just occur in the mind, imagination or networked digital media. They take shape in the body. Information stored within us ripples outwards; somatic resonances are released and then return, imprinting once again on a deeper level. The body recollects, doubles, interprets and reconfigures – moving through the traces of another whilst negotiating itself. Re-enactment is at once practical, performative, philosophical, and political.

What does it mean to re-enact memories, and to stand in the place of something or someone that has come before?

Is re-enactment a repetition or can it be a way of forgetting, of peeling away the past to recompose or heal?

Can we re-enact our own memories, memories of ancestors, or even of people we have never met? How might we do this?

It is impossible to escape our re-enactments of individual and shared pasts: whether in the retelling of personal stories to oneself so that identity does not slip away, the recounting of family lore, through the recollection of symbolic public events, the digestion and expression of knowledge, or by continuing to practice inherited rituals and customs.

One way or another we restage something that has come before, sometimes to the point where it is hard to tell whether we experienced something ourselves, or it was in fact borrowed – someone else’s memory like a grandmother or a father. Cultural forms travel across bodies and time, and even those remains that appear to be dead (like the hard bones of old skeletons) still contain memory data. Our re-enactments are thus recorded and transmitted by the organic, inorganic and non-human. Including, of course, digital networked recording and retrieval technologies helping to document (and thus store) our traces.

But there is much we want to forget. Silences too difficult to approach. Amendments and erasures that we seek to consciously make.

All of these dimensions we will consider with a broad disciplinary mix of memory workers, including visual artists, performers, researchers, students, curators, computer scientists and much more. The goal is to provide a space for reflection and performance that might not otherwise find a home in other discussion venues.

Practical information:

This event is free but we limit the participation to 40 people so that we can provide lunch. We encourage you to register by emailing:

22 March 2016, 18:00
Performance by Joan Laage at Malmö Inter Arts Center

23 March 2016, 09:30 – 17:00
9:30 coffee and registration. Symposium with performances, roundtable discussion and keynote 10:00 until 16:30, at Malmö Inter Arts Center

(Location link:


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