Search
Close this search box.

Conference report (Aarhus) – Working Group 3 “Transformation of Politics”

Conference report (Aarhus) – Working Group 3 “Transformation of Politics”

Slowmemo general conference (Aarhus), June 12-16

Working Group 3 aims to explore the influence of slow memories on political action and decision-making. The working group met four times during the conference to discuss emerging themes across the group (Continuity, City, and Speed/Acceleration), consider how the key insights presented in the plenaries connect to our work, and to develop collaborative outputs. These discussions were productive in moving us towards a shared understanding of what slow memory might mean and how it might be operationalised in the sphere of politics.

WG3 members discussed slow memory in terms of the conservative force of long-standing structures, epistemic frameworks and narratives that have been naturalised as ways of knowing and working. One value of thinking of these as “slow memory” is that it allows us to “see” and thereby challenge these structures. There is a potentially productive tension between continuity and acceleration in this context. Continuity can be interrupted by moments of accelerated change (e.g., in the city with the “sudden” decision to topple monuments or change street names). The city can itself be a site of slow memory par excellence: it is a palimpsest that records slow memory, also in its infrastructures. Slow memory might also be “contained” in objects in homes (and sometimes museums). However, in all cases there is a need for something or someone to daylight that memory (e.g., historical research, personal encounters with the object, or deliberate reintegration of the object into national narratives). A slow methodology can allow us to track change over time and tell longitudinal, historically embedded stories. It also allows us to establish better – more equitable – relationships with stakeholders and informants, which fosters genuine co-production.

We agreed a set of collaborative outputs – many of which are in progress – to further elaborate and refine these ideas. These will include educational resources on antisemitism and Holocaust memory and visual methodologies, a special issue on continuity and one on slow memory and the city, two working papers on continuity and religion, respectively, a policy briefing paper on the politics of commemoration and continuity/sustainability in the city, and a joint project to gather images exploring the 8 March across Europe (as a kind of “slow” commemoration – a commemoration without an event).

Maija Spurina & Sara Jones

Latest Updates

The second episode of our Slow Memory podcast is now available on all major streaming platforms! In this episode, we introduce the work and ambitions of the Slow Memory COST Action. Memory Studies has been very much shaped by how societies remember extreme violence and sudden conflicts. However, Slow Memory researchers believe that the key social...

Dear members of the Slow Memory Community, We hope that you are enjoying spring time at the moment. This is the 5th instalment of the Slow Memory Bulletin, the newsletter to keep you in the loop regarding events, projects, publications, and more. The Action now has 295 individual members, so we do need this medium of...

Today – on the 81st anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – the Antisemitism and Holocaust Education Team (University of Birmingham) launches a competition for students and teachers to learn about the history of the Holocaust and the Second World War in Europe’s East. Part of a project exploring the slow impact of these histories on...

Organized by Vjollca Krasniqi, Vicky Karaiskou, Isabel Machado Alexandre and Alice Semedo Transformation lies at the core of the Slow Memory COST Action. It is a keyword when solutions to challenges in politics, welfare, conflict, work, environment, and knowledge methodologies are required. It carries an immense range of perceptions and interpretations that derive from lived...

11 June 2024, 5pm-6.30pm. NTU, NEWLT4 City Campus Also available online via Microsoft Teams Professor Robert Gildea (University of Oxford): The Miners’ Strike: their story in their voices’   The Miners’ Strike of 1984-85 was the last great industrial conflict of the twentieth century in Britain. Miners stayed out for a year in defence of...

8-9 June 2024 Stari Grad, Hvar, Croatia The workshop “Islands of Memory” is part of an ongoing initiative on historical remembrance on islands, focused on the Adriatic and Mediterranean from a comparative perspective. The workshop invites academics and practitioners from a multidisciplinary background to reflect on memory and historical remembrance in the context of islands....

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more