Mapping memories, building shared identities

In the crisis of modern State and ‘political’ communities, we need to rethink memory as a common ground for communities. Since 1800, modern State has built its own identity around modern disciplines (history, history of art, archaeology, anthropology, etc.) and their containers (museums). Can we rethink ourselves in different way? Can we build a shared memory as a term of stewardship? Can we interconnect ‘artificial’ memories ( monuments of the past, rediscovered heritage) with oral memories as a way of regenerate our relationship with the space we inhabit?

We wil discuss these issues, bringing in examples/projects (es. Unmonastery, Unibas, OpenStreetMap and other case studies developed locally), as well as proposing new digital shared platforms.

Date: 2014-10-25 09:30:00 - 2014-10-25 09:30:00, Europe/Berlin Time.


This looks interesting, any way we should prepare before?

Hi Emmanuele,

great to see you here and Im really looking forward to this session. I recently heard Jananne Al-Ani present some work she had done using photography. I think it was called "Shadow Sites. She approaches this topic from a different angle, more fine arts. Her talk/presentation at #ireality I found really inspiring and I think it will be available online… will embed it here as soon as I get it.

Mm a few other thoughts spring to mind to do with other cultures and traditions for storytelling or preserving memories. In some African cultures there is the tradition of libation, a kind of ritual or prayer for keeping memory of people who you care about and have passed present. I’ve seen it used very effectively to give weight to even institutional meetings. In a western context it would seem weird, but there is something worth exploring there: how you keep memory of what has been present in what you do. Not just in artefacts or records, whether digital or analog but in relationships and behaviours… Technosocial being the operative term here.

Why does this matter- Well if no one uses it what is the point? Unesco I know has done a lot of work to try to “preserve” or “archive” cultural artefacts and traditions. Like putting together a collection of African histories. But to be honest I had no idea about any of this, or what Unesco does for that matter, until I was at an event with some people who work there last year.  On the other hand Tahir Hemphill has built a cool project which while it references the past feels contemporary because the point of entry is something a lot of people care about and are interested in right now

I havent p;ayed with it yet but you can find on visualisation here

Replying Nadia

Hy Nadia,

great to hear from you. Your suggestions are very interesting, and I will like in particular to discuss the issue of ‘storytelling’. I personally don’t like very much this term, simply because tends to solve the issue of memory only with different ways of ‘telling stories’. For me the issue is challenging the established ‘national’ memory and its contents, and try to work on interconnecting layers of different ways of ‘remembering’, to create common grounds to be filled by different actors.

Your point on ‘how you keep memory of what has been present in what you do’ is exactly what we need to discuss, changing in ‘what we do’, as community. And we could do alsoi  starting from ‘libation’.

On the issue of UNESCO much to say, because I find it still anchored to old ‘900 schemes of Western thought.

Anyway, lot to discuss, lot to create…

Seen the questions for session facilitators?

Hi Emmanuele,

I put together a small set of advice and questions for session leaders. Have you seen it? /t/sessions-at-lote4-the-stewardship/590/dont-know-how-to-build-a-great

dear nadia,

I don’t know why, but I fond difficulties in accessing the board to fill at the link you sent.

Anyway, we are thinking of asking 90 min, talk/workshop with the aid of a projector.


to read


interesting reading, unfortunately in Italian, from Michela Murgia, an Italian/Sardinian writer (who also was a leader of a new movement based on Commons at the last regional Sardinian elections) on ‘popular narrative’…

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New shared identity is also political!

Curator’s note (Amelia @teirdes and me happen to be curators for the digital assets track, trying to point out connections and focus points so that the different sessions can complement each other nicely).

For this track we have two main points (see), one being the interplay between citizen action and political action. Amelia noted that “we have a deficit of political will to invest in common institutions at this time”, and that’s probably why you explore building these shared identities without state support. But building these new identities political nonetheless, since it’s about managing common and public identity, and the communities you build might become the new political entities in the feature.

A particular question would be: Could building parallel, new, non-state identities eventually reform the state identity idea and the political system as a whole? So far, I have only examples where it was the other way round (like, say, the Erasmus program contributing to citizens feeling and living in a more pan-European way, with a third of Erasmus students being in international romantic relationships as per a recent study … that’s not without effect on perceived “European” identity).

What I like about this session is the ambivalence, where citizen action of building their own non-state identities is apolitical and political at the same time. How do you imagine the relations to the powers-that-be? Is it opposition to the state, or can it be even cooperation?

It is political!

Dear Matthias, I agree with you. Very interesting questions, which coincide exactly with the problems I am raising. Don’t want to say too much, because I would like to bring these question to the people attending the session… but I do believe that at the base of all there is a need to redefine the category of ‘political’ and ‘state’.