Transnational Memory Practices - Workshop Two, Liverpool
Led by Dr Tamara West, alongside co-investigators Dr Kerry Wilson and Dr Nayun Jang, the project aims to explore the role of digital exhibitions in memory practices, contested histories, national identities, and postcolonial pasts. The second network event in Liverpool saw participants from the UK and Korea take part in fieldtrips, museum visits and discussions, and a research seminar.
On the first day, after a short presentation on the context of Liverpool’s heritage and redevelopment from network lead Dr Tamara West, participants visited the University of Liverpool Special Collections and Archives. Here Katy Hooper and Robin Orr introduced relevant University collections and discussed ongoing work reinterpreting and diversifying the collection, and decolonisation. The next stop was the University’s Victoria Gallery and Museum where Dr Amanda Draper guided us through. collections relating to the Transatlantic Slave Trade, including displays relating to the The World Reimagined project.
The afternoon involved a city walk exploring Liverpool’s Slavery History. It was led by National Museum Liverpool’s historian in residence and expert on the city’s slave trading history, Laurence Westgaph. Focusing on the waterfront and surrounding streets, Laurence guided us through the overt and covert remnants of the city’s links to slavery. Finally, the day was completed with a ferry ride across the Mersey, allowing participants to see first-hand the famous waterfront and hear about its history, and also view ongoing change, including the controversial building work that had been discussed in the morning welcome.
The second day was hosted by our project partner National Museums Liverpool. Head of Learning and Participation Claire Benjamin introduced the waterfront transformation project plans, and we heard from the President of Federation of International Human Rights Museums Asia Pacific. before a tour of the International Slavery Museum. The afternoon centred on co-creation and evaluation with presentations from Dr Ranmalie Jayawardana, NML’s Community Participation Lead, and from network member Dr Rafaela Ganga (LJMU). A tour of the Museum of Liverpool’s Wondrous Place and People’s Republic exhibitions, led by curators Kay Jones and Karen O’Rourke, re-focused on some of the themes emergent on the Seoul workshop, such as difficult community memory and public representation of traumatic events, for example, the Hillsborough tragedy, as well as the role of digital technologies within the curation of community artefacts.
The third day, hosted by LJMU Liverpool Business School, began with MA, PhD and researcher presentations. Yeseul Kim (Sogang) explored textual representation; Sohee Kim (Sogang) discussed a more diversified representation of Korean ‘Comfort Women’ through digital exhibitions; Gayoon Song (Sogang) focused on the editing of public memory via a case study of the memory politics of cybervandalism on Wikis; Lewis Washington (UoL) explored Liverpool and issues of contested intangible cultural heritage.
Kristof Santa (LJMU) widened the disciplinary focus via his work on the co-creation of a Digital Mental Health Service Platform. The geographical focus was expanded from that of Liverpool and Seoul with PhD researcher Noor Ragabaan’s (UoL) exploration of community memories of gender mixing in Saudi homes via a case study of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This wider geographical focus continued with the Network member presentations, and Professor Claire Tayor’s (UoL) discussion of her Colombia focused work via analysis of the (Digital) practices of the House of Memory and Human Rights of Women, Colombia. Dr Ataa Alsalloum (UoL) discussed her ongoing project on the Syrian community in Liverpool and practices of memory in diaspora. Our final talk of the day came from project Co-I Dr Nayun Jang (Sogang University) who focused on the visual aspect of memory in Remembering the Unremembered: Photography in Post-War South Korea. The day then concluded with a discussion of the themes raised, and of next steps for the transnational network.