Aarhus, Denmark, June 12-13, 2023
Marileen La Haije (University of Cologne)
During the second in-person meeting of the Slow Memory network in Aarhus, members of Working Group 2: Transformation of Welfare participated in a series of workshops as part of the training school. These workshops addressed methodological possibilities and challenges for the study of slow memory processes and practices, with a particular focus on storytelling. In this short report, I will synthetize some of the key insights on storytelling I gained from the training school which, I hope, can be useful for other members of the network as well. During our train travel from Copenhagen to Aarhus (12 June), we had the chance to read the ‘open books’ from the Human Library, in my case a young cancer survivor. These vulnerable and skillful storytellers, I learnt, invite us to be attentive and careful readers. In the afternoon, Stine Grønbæk Jensen, an attentive and careful reader herself, showed us how we can approach stories as transformative tools as part of the (slow) memory work carried out by people affected by stigmatization and discrimination. The idea of the transformative potential of storytelling was also central in Yilmes Virucu’s workshop on arts-based practices of research (13 June). Cinematographic work and other arts-based practices of research, I learnt, can be used as empowering tools for marginalized communities, as a way to give them a platform to voice their valuable stories and knowledge.