Transnational Memory Practices - Workshop One, Seoul

Posted on: 17 July 2023 by Tamara West in 2023 posts

Group of network members from Sogang University, National Musuems Liverpool, and  Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores Universities seated around a table after the final day’s seminar activities at the Critical Global Studies Institute, Sogang University, Seoul
Network members seated around a table after the final day’s seminar activities at the Critical Global Studies Institute, Sogang University, Seoul.

The first Transnational Memory Practices workshop exchange took place in Seoul in June 2022. Hosted by our partners the Critical Global Studies Institute at Sogang University, this three-day workshop involved a mix of fieldtrips, Q&A sessions with curators, and presentations and discussions from academics and practitioners.

First day

The first day involved thought provoking fieldtrips to Seon-gam Island, a former child labour prison, and to the Sewol ferry memorial site. Both included discussions with former child prisoners at the first site, and with some of the mothers whose children who had lost their lives in the Sewol ferry incident. 

Second day

The second day started with a field trip to Seodaemun Prison, where a tour of the site was followed by a Q&A session. In the afternoon we were welcomed by the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History. A tour highlighted the extensive use of digital technologies within the museum space- from touch tables, interactive booths giving access to museum archives not on display, and oral and visual storytelling stations, through to highly interactive and immersive activities such as the scanning of a code on a card to transport the visitor into cartoon representations of key events in a specific year.  

Display of Prisoner ID cards using analogue photographs alongside digital touchscreen technology, Seodaemun Prison History Hall, Seoul

The tour was followed by a Q&A session with curators, focusing on the recent redesign of the museums’ permanent exhibition, exploring issues of inclusivity, relevance, and representation. The afternoon was completed by an invited open lecture. Moderated by Dr Tamara West, this public event included presentations by Adam Duckworth, Engagement Producer for young people at National Museums Liverpool, on the International Slavery Museum, Matt Exley, Participation Producer at National Museums Liverpool, on LGBTQ+ exhibitions and community work at NML, and Dr Kerry Wilson, LJMU, on the evaluation of the House of Memories programme.

Final day

The final day took place at the University of Sogang where we were joined by colleagues from the Critical Global Studies Institute. Moderated by Nayun Jang, it involved presentations from network members which contextualised the fieldtrips undertaken and explored further the digital technologies and applications within these. Professor Hyun Kyung Lee discussed difficult heritage in South Korea, Dr Yu Na Han explored physical and digital memory of the Sewol ferry incident, and graduate student Sooah Kwak investigated the topic of virtual reality and interpretation in museums.

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