Staging Difficult Pasts: Of Narratives, Objects and Public Memory

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Holloway, University of London
Department Name: Drama, Theatre and Dance

Abstract

This project examines how theatres and museums are currently shaping public memory of difficult pasts through their staging of narratives and objects. Engaging directly with research partners and major cultural institutions, the project is a collaboration among the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance at Royal Holloway, University of London, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of Minnesota, Cricoteka, Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor (Kraków), Teatre Lliure (Barcelona), ESMA Museum and Teatro Cervantes (Buenos Aires), Holocaust Research Institute, Jewish Museum London and Imperial War Museum's Holocaust Gallery. The primary aims are: (i) to analyse how public memory of 'difficult pasts' is being staged in contemporary theatre and museal practices; (ii) to chart how these practices are increasingly informed cross-institutionally; (iii) and to foster transnational collaboration and dialogue to enhance these practices. Through fieldwork (archival research, research visits to museums and theatres, interviews with curators and theatre makers), workshops, public talks, and an international symposium the project team will specifically analyse transnational case studies in Argentina, Lithuania, Poland, Spain and the UK, which will widely extend research on the distinctions and interactions between memory and history specifically through the lenses of theatre and performance studies, visual culture, and museum and curator studies and more broadly through memory studies, history, Holocaust studies, cultural geography and modern languages.
Argentina, Lithuania, Poland and Spain all share highly politicized and extremely divisive debates over their difficult pasts, specifically in relation to authoritarianism, fascism and communism. Theatres and museums have been key sites for these debates, which shape and broaden public memory. Over the past few decades, widespread attempts to expose or reinterpret the public memory of formerly tabo historical narratives have come to public concern through their staging in theatres and museums for live audiences. We have also selected project partners in the UK to establish transcultural research links that will broaden the remit and impact of the research. Staging difficult pasts, theatre makers have innovated narrative forms and reframed theatrical and artefactual objects, while museum curators have increasingly privileged the 'staging' of historical narratives over the display of objects, producing performative encounters as their primary object. Thus, the project's focus will both advance transnational research on the staging of difficult pasts through narrative and object, and the key points of intersection between theatres and museums and their shaping global memory discourses.
Workshops, public talks and the symposium will bring together practitioners and scholars from theatre and performance studies, visual culture, museum and curator studies, history, Holocaust studies, cultural geography and modern languages. Through workshops, we aim to document and analyse current strategies and aims employed by leading theatre makers and curators. Inviting artists to collaborate with institutions outside of their own cultural spheres, we will foster transnational dialogue and provide the opportunities for innovation across cultural sectors. We are inviting theatres and museums to work across their traditional disciplinary boundaries to generate innovation and develop strategies that serve their public aims. Forms of dissemination will have an extensive audience. These include interdisciplinary edited collections, workshops, public talks, learning materials for university libraries, the Routledge Performance Archive and the Holocaust Research Institute, and a project website, and grey literature reports.

Planned Impact

Impact Summary

To generate wide-ranging international impact, the project team is working in close collaboration with key international cultural institutions and theatre and museum practitioners. We have identified three main groups to be impacted by the research:
(a) Theatre makers and curators
(b) Public audiences attending museums and theatres
(c) Cultural institutions, including theatres, museums and archives

(a) The project aims to benefit key international theatre makers and curators who are 'staging' difficult pasts. Firstly, by asking them to reflect on their approaches through workshops that respond to our research questions. Secondly, we have requested that they attend or observe each others' workshops and participate in public talks where they will have the opportunity to further reflect on the challenges, obstacles, ethical concerns and examples of good practice that have informed their work and can be shared across national and institutional boundaries. By focusing on narrative forms, public memory, and the reconceptualisation of objects in the staging of difficult pasts, we intend to engage theatre makers and curators in critical self-reflective and transcultural discussions that could lead to an increase in the effectiveness of their creative output and public service and further inter-institutional collaborations in the future.

(b) By examining how difficult pasts are staged, this project will engage museum and theatre audiences in public talks and debates, which is intended to help activate their critical reception of history and memory of difficult pasts and to aid their understanding of the ways in which theatres and museums not only prompt debate but also actively shape public memory. In examining narrative, object and global memory discourses, the intention is to open up wider questions for audiences around their historical agency and their critical engagement with these institutions. These events should expose audiences to new questions around history, memory and social cohesion. By working across museums and theatres, it could also result in the development of new audiences who traditionally only attend one of these institutions. In this way, the project could impact audience experience, engagement and behaviour. The project team will make use of our partners' existing audiences and work with them to develop new publics.

(c) Working closely with our partner institutions, we intend to have an impact on their programming, public engagement and learning aims. We are collaborating with theatre makers and curators who not only devise their own work but who also programme festivals, international exhibitions and theatre repertoires. Not only then will workshops and public talks work as pathways to impact on individuals, there is also the potential that the decisions these theatre makers and curators make as a result of their engagement with the project will have a much broader impact on their home institutions. Furthermore, the project is aimed at enhancing the learning materials institutions use to support their education and outreach programs. The Jewish Museum, ESMA Museum, Teatre Lliure, IWM and Cricoteka all have learning teams that will attend our research events and actively participate in workshops. We will make available recordings of our workshops and public talks to help them develop their current resources and approaches to engaging students with their exhibitions and archives. Grey literature reports will be co-written and distributed to each of our partner organisations to help inform their practice. Partners can use the reports as part of funding applications, institutional and artistic strategy planning, and impact reporting.

Publications

10 25 50

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Bryce Lease (2019) Counterpublics Cause so Much Trouble: Oliver Frljic, Protest & Collectivity in Critical Stages/Scènes critiques

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Cecilia Sosa (2019) Desde los ojos del Otro: Lola Arias y el teatro como transformación. Una entrevista con Lola Arias in Primer Acto. Cuadernos de Investigación Teatral

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Cecilia Sosa (2019) Lola Arias: Re-Enacting Life

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Delgado MM (2019) Monos in Sight & Sound

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Delgado MM (2019) Pain and Glory in Sight & Sound

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Delgado MM (2020) Pain and Glory in Sight & Sound

 
Description Through our project, 'We passed just this way', we discovered a mode of sharing artistic strategies for curation and displaying objects across museums, galleries and theatres. This was then developed through our collaboration with ESMA Site Memory Museum in Buenos Aires.
Exploitation Route We will put these findings to use in our scheduled research events and workshops the ESMA Museum and Crikoteka. We have also been invited to participate in the BITEF Theatre Festival this year in Belgrade, Serbia.
Sectors Creative Economy,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://stagingdifficultpasts.org/events.html
 
Description Research on staging difficult pasts is now achieving cross-sector collaborations that are bringing research-based theatrical strategies into museum curation, enhancing audiences' cultural experience, understanding of difficult pasts, and prompting deeper and multi-ethnic levels of empathy with historical objects and sites. Co-Producing Artefacts & Generating New Forms of Cultural Production In December 2018, the exhibition, "Terribly close: Polish Vernacular Artists Face the Holocaust" (Widok zza bliska. Inne obrazy Zaglady), opened at the Ethnographic Museum in Krakow. The exhibition showcased how local artists in Poland attempted to represent the events they witnessed during World War II. The objects on display in the museum challenge what is understood as Holocaust art. The curators felt uncomfortable displaying these objects in an ethnographic frame, which reinforced a nationalistic and exclusionary narrative. As part of Staging Difficult Pasts, Lease proposed a collaboration with the Cricoteka that would offer a new mode of exhibiting the objects by placing them in a theatrical frame. The curators selected an object from the exhibition that had been made by a well-known Polish folk artist and toy maker. Lease commissioned workshops with a member of the Cricot 2 theatre company (Ludmila Ryba) for the curators to explore Kantor's concept of theatrical frame to offer a new approach to the curation of this object. He then collaborated with Polish artist Wojtek Ziemilski to create a commemorative performance, which consisted of transporting a wooden toy in the form of a truck, described as "truposznica" or a corpse carrier used transport the dead Jewish bodies that had been gassed to be cremated, from the Ethnographic Museum to the Cricoteka, housing the objects and machines associated with the work of Kantor. Moving away from a museal or ethnographic framing, the museum now considers how objects can be understood as performative and innovative ways in moving their displayed objects outside of museum walls to increase their impact on the public. This collaboration changed the curation of the Cricoteka's permanent exhibition. Natalia Zarzecka, Director of Cricoteka, added this object to the permanent exhibition. This is the first time a non-Kantor object was displayed in the gallery, and thus changed the way the institution curates and understands this museum space. Not only does this expand the legacy of Kantor in relation to Polish/Jewish and Holocaust histories, it also changed the emphasis of the gallery from a singular focus on Kantor to wider artistic heritages in Poland. Over 120 participants took part in the performance action, but many more members of the public (several hundred) saw the performance and over 50 participants claimed to have been asked for further information about the object. Reflecting on the change this collaboration made to his own artistic practice, Ziemilski reported, 'This was a completely new way of working.' This interaction allowed participants to explain that this truck had been used in Krakow during the Second World War to transport the ashes of 7-8000 Jews when the Nazis were forced to flee the city with the approach of Russian soldiers. While Holocaust histories tend to be familiar in Krakow through public education and popular culture, members of the public expressed their surprise at this information, which they were learning for the first time. Jewish curator Erica Lehrer noted that the performance was the first time she felt she 'shared the burden' of Holocaust memory in the city with non-Jewish local residents. Lease's research on Polish/Jewish relations and performance in theatre and museums informed the process of making these pieces - what to avoid, which artists to work with, the contexts of performance, and the importance of walking as a performative commemorative act. The Cricoteka then used the documentation of this performance action and the changed permanent exhibition to represent themselves at Cracow Art Week KRAKERS (12 April - 6 May 2019) in a new exhibition 'Skok Pamieciowy/Memory Leap'. The curators who attended our theatre workshops displayed the copies of the Truposznica that Ziemilski created for the performance action beside Kantor's Kolyska mechaniczna (The Mechanical Cradle) which changed the institution's curation of Kantor's Bio-Objects and more explicitly linked his work to Holocaust memory. This performance resulted in two further invitations: (i) Natalia Zarzecka invited Michal Kobialka, as part of Staging Difficult Pasts, to curate an exhibition in the Cricoteka gallery, 'Kantor's Ghosts', that focuses on the formation of Kantor's legacy in contemporary arts practices (April - December 2020). Zarzecka also named Staging Difficult Pasts as one of the significant public initiatives in the application for annual public funding from the Polish government in 2020. (ii) Ivan Mednica, Director of the BITEF Festival in Belgrade, Serbia, attended the performance action and then commissioned this as part of BITEF 2020. The theatre festival is the most significant and longest running in Eastern Europe. Mednica reported that the form of commemoration produced by this performance was open-ended and non-confrontational and, as a result, would allow the festival to explore both the commemoration of Holocaust histories in Belgrade (the Sajmište concentration camp in particular) and to extend this form of memory of genocide to include the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. Enhancing Museum Curation The research team brought Joanne Rosenthal, former Head Curator of the Jewish Museum London, to give a workshop at the Parque de la Memoria, which is a public space situated in front of the Río de la Plata estuary in Buenos Aires. It is a memorial to the victims of the 1976-83 military regime, known as the National Reorganization Process, during the Dirty War, a period of unprecedented state-sponsored violence in Argentina. The workshop explored the curation of absence, trauma and loss in public museums. Florencia Battiti, Head of Public Programming and Curation for Parque, wrote that she received numerous comments from participants on the workshop 'in relation to its originality and the way in which it triggered new ways of thinking about traumatic past exhibitions'. She further commented: 'From a curatorial perspective, the workshop led me to think that we should not take certain things for granted, that it is very important to expose oneself in the public sphere, to try to put the focus on themes that are out of common knowledge and to take risks by addressing difficult problems which might be even "taboo" for the society in which one is inserted.' Marcelo Brodsky, one of the most significant Argentinian visual artists and a member of Parque's board, commented that as a result of the workshop he would be 'more risky' in his programming of public art works dealing with memory of difficult pasts in their exhibition space. Holocaust survivor Sara Rus reported at the end of the workshop that she would now be willing to share with the new Holocaust Museum (opened one week after the workshop in December 2019) two pots that her mother had kept from Auschwitz-Birkenau and Mauthausen concentration camps. [Possible impact in April 2020: The workshop also fed into the Park's 'Identidad' exhibition, which will open in March 2020 with the sponsorship of the NGO Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo - specifically waiting to see if there was an impact on the Identidad exhibition]. The Staging Difficult Pasts project then impacted the ESMA Site of Memory Museum by 'inviting the public to visit the building in another way, questioning it in each one of its performance interventions' (Alejandra Naftal, Museum Director). The museum, which is on a site that was used as an illegal, secret detention and torture centre during Argentina's 1976-83 military dictatorship, is considered one of the most significant museums in the world to 'stage' difficult pasts and engage with fundamental questions regarding human rights. Having explored 'commemorative extension' in Krakow, Lease proposed Wojtek Ziemiliski's artistic residency at ESMA Museum in November 2019 to further explore the curatorial potential of this concept. Naftal has struggled to curate the section of the museum called the Admiral's House, where Ruben Chamorro, the guardian of the former Navy School, lived during the dictatorship with his family. The Museum's board rejected the original designs for the former ESMA's director quarters, therefore the space has been left empty since the museum opened in May 2015. As the events that took place inside the building during are still under legal investigation, the building itself cannot be altered. Given this constraint and the challenge of curating the perpetrator's gaze, Lease proposed theatrical and performative means to curate the space. Ziemilski's residency at ESMA Museum has made a significant impact on the current curatorial script of the museum, leading to a permanent exhibition. Ziemilski's artistic residency finished with a performative action scheduled in the context of a Five o' Clock Visit on 30 November 2019. These special visits take place at the Museum on last Saturday of every month when special guests are invited to engage in conversation with the audience and explore the museum space. The project team curated Wojtek's performance at the Museum alongside the performance of Cuarto Intermedio's Guia para audiencias de lesa humanidad, a performance by the Argentine writer Félix Bruzzone, whose parents disappeared, and the French lawyer Monica Swaig, an expert on ESMA trials. This was the first time theatrical performance has taken place on this site, and this required the approval of twenty-one members of the board, which include human rights groups and NGOs directly connected to those detained, tortured and murdered in ESMA. According to the museum, there were over 200 audience members, more than half of whom had never visited the site before, and reviews appeared in one of Argentina's most important newspapers (Página 12). By staging both pieces, the project made an impact on how the museum avoids traditional imaginaries of loss and how disparate national narratives of victimhood - both from Poland and Argentina - can intersect with each other. Lease's concept of 'commemorative extension' focuses on the significance transnational exchange in changing memory cultures that are exclusive or nationalistic. This was the first time the Museum engaged with an international research team and allowed a non-Argentinian artist to work in the museum. In an interview with Página 12, Naftal said: 'In this space where five thousand men and women disappeared, we are facing a challenge. This performance is a risk that also enables us to rethink and be better.' On the Museum's Facebook page she further wrote, 'We took the challenge of making this performance intervention which created a completely new way of thinking about what happened in this building and what happens in our environment.' Renowned theatre director Rubén Szuchmacher told Página 12: 'Until this experience, because I had a family that was a victim of the work of the perpetrators, I could never enter the former ESMA. This experience was very mobilizing.' Adriana Suzaly Néstor Fuentes, a survivor of ESMA, commented: 'This presents a before and after of what is now possible to do in this space.' Naftal commissioned two films of Ziemilski's perfor
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Creative Economy,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Cricoteka 
Organisation Centre for Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor
Country Poland 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Staging Difficult Pasts: Objects in the State of Unrest In November 2018, Muzeum Etnograficzne in Kraków opened an exhibition, "Widok zza bliska. Inne obrazy Zaglady", about the objects which tell the story of World War II. One of these objects is called TRUPOSZNICA, Franciszek Wacek's object/corpse carrier from Treblinka that was used to illustrate wartime stories he told to local children. In collaboration with the Cricoteka and curators of the exhibition (Erica Lehrer, Roma Sendyka, Wojciech Wilczyk, and Magdalena Zych), the "Staging Difficult Pasts" research team invited Ludmila Ryba to conduct a week-long workshop with the Kolektyw Kuratorski about objects, based on her experience with the theatre of Tadeusz Kantor (18-22 February 2019). The Kolektyw have carefully researched historical questions connecting the city's topography, the object and the performance sites and have curated a performative intervention in the Kantor Museum. Alongside the workshops, we commissioned Polihs theatre maker and visual artist Wojtek Ziemilski to create a performative action of moving TRUPOSZNICA from the Muzeum Etnograficzne to Cricoteka (23 February 2019), which resulted in a public performance of Holocaust commemoration. We organised a public panel discussion on the workshops and the performative action, with reflections on the function of the object, its objectness, and the staging of difficult pasts across theatrical and museal frames. Panellists will include curators Erica Lehrer and Roma Sendyka, theatre makers Ludmila Ryba and Wojtek Ziemilski, and scholars Katarzyna Fazan and Anna Róza Burzynska. The panel will be chaired by Michal Kobialka.
Collaborator Contribution The Cricoteka paid for the insurance for the museum object, transportation and security for the object, Ludka Ryba's flight and all advertisements (pamphlets, etc.).
Impact Performance Workshops Public Panel Publications will follow that should be available in 2020. Disciplines: theatre & performance, museum studies, memory studies, Polish studies, Holocaust studies, curating, Jewish studies
Start Year 2019
 
Description The 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall 
Organisation Free University of Berlin
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Graduate Seminar/Fall 2019 Michal Kobialka, University of Minnesota and Jan Lazardzig, Freie Universität Berlin On the eve of the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Wall, this graduate seminar considered a number of possibilities of how to think about that so-called post-historical condition as well as about the different pathways of how to address the idea of staging difficult past. To accomplish this task, the seminar focused on the performative and historiographic aspects of the commemorations of the fall of the Berlin Wall as well as one the idea of staging difficult pasts on the both sides of the divide.
Collaborator Contribution ARTIST TALK Staging Difficult Pasts: Thomas Heise im Gespräch Vierte Welt (Bezirk Friedrichshain-Kreuzerg, Berlin) Saturday, December 14, 8 pm Filmemacher Thomas Heise spricht in der Vierten Welt über die Kinematographie der "difficult pasts" in seinen Filmen. Von Thomas Heise läuft gerade der vielfach preisgekrönte Film "Heimat ist ein Raum aus Zeit" (2019) im Regenbogenkino in Kreuzberg.
Impact Graduate seminar, artist's talk, documentary for digital archive
Start Year 2019
 
Description "La sangre en cuestión: Del Museo Judío de Londres a la posdictatura argentina" [Blood into Question. From the Jewish Museum in London to Argentina's Posdictatorship] 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact On Friday 22 November 2019, curator Joanne Rosenthal grave the lecturer "La sangre en cuestión: Del Museo Judío de Londres a la posdictatura argentina" [Blood into Question. From the Jewish Museum in London to Argentina's Posdictatorship] at the IDES. During the talk, Rosenthal shared insights about her experience of conceptualising, shaping, and curating the exhibition "Blood: Uniting & Dividing" at the Jewish Museum London. The critically-acclaimed exhibition, which toured in an expanded form to the POLIN Museum in Warsaw and the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, explored the fluid and paradoxical nature of blood through the lens of Jewish history while considering how blood has been both a substance and a symbol that has united and divided individuals and groups. Rosenthal addressed the current resonances of the exhibition's themes and issues of blood in the context of the aftermath of Argentina's dictatorship. The talk was a joint event organised by Staging Difficult Pasts and the research group Núcleo Estudios de Memoria.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description 'Lluís Pasqual's In Memoriam: how a nation remembers and what it remembers', part of a panel on 'Staging Difficult Pasts' 2019: 'Lluís Pasqual's In Memoriam: how a nation remembers and what it remembers', part of a panel discussion for the 'Staging Difficult Pasts' project at the Memory Studies Association, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 26 June 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Staging Difficult Pasts: Of Narratives, Objects and Public Memory

This panel will analyse and compare international approaches to staging difficult pasts across major theatres and museums, including Teatre Lliure (Barcelona), ESMA Museum (Buenos Aires), and the Cricoteka & Ethnographic Museum (Krakow). Our analysis will chart how these curatorial and theatrical practices are increasingly informed cross-institutionally. We will consider how identitarian myths are given dramatic shape or are performatively confronted by theatre makers and curators primarily through narrative (a spoken or written account of connected events) and object (material things). Staging difficult pasts, theatre makers have innovated narrative forms and reframed theatrical and artefactual objects, while museums have increasingly privileged the "staging" of historical narratives over the display of objects, producing performative encounters as their primary object. Thus, the panel's focus on narrative and object highlights key points of intersection between theatres and museums, while also highlighting their complementary transnational artistic strategies.


Chair:
Dr Bryce Lease
Royal Holloway, University of London
Bryce.Lease@rhul.ac.uk

Speakers:

Prof Michal Kobialka
Department of Theatre Arts and Dance
University of Minnesota
kobia001@umn.edu

Of Awkward Objects and Collateral Memories
In Winter 2018, the exhibition, "Awkward Objects of Genocide," opened at the Anthropology Museum in Krakow. It showcases how local, "naïve" artists in Poland attempted to represent the events they witnessed during World War II. The objects on display in the Museum, such as for example, a representation of Jewish suffering via symbolic (Catholic) idiom of Pieta or a Nazi crematorium recalling a nativity creche, challenge what is understood as Holocaust art, expand the field of Holocaust memory studies to include "minor," "peripheral," or "awkward" objects, as well as contribute to larger debates about "difficult heritage" or "difficult knowledge". This presentation will use as its point of departure a performative action, organized by Wojtek Ziemilski, a Polish performance artist, of transporting a wooden toy in a form of a car, described as "truposznica" or a Treblinka car used transport the dead bodies that had been gassed to be cremated, from the Ethnography Museum to the Cricoteka, housing the objects and machines associated with the work of Tadeusz Kantor. In this spatial context, I will argue the "truposznica" becomes a "poor object" and that the object's movement between the Ethnographic Museum and the Cricoteka points to the tension (in Poland) between the conflict memories/imaginations at once past and present. To substantiate this point, I will explore "truposznica" as the object in the state of unrest; the object, which is unhoused in being by experience and Logos; and, finally, the object drawing attention to "collateral" memories-memories of the excarnated: those memories made to die so that secularism can be made to live elsewhere as folk art.

Dr Cecilia Sosa
Royal Holloway, University of London
sosaceci@gmail.com

Towards a collaborative ethics of staging conflictive pasts
This paper explores the possibility of encouraging a transnational experience of collaboration between a contemporary Polish theatre maker, working on the rumination of Holocaust experience, and a particular site of memory located in Argentina, ESMA Memory Museum. During 1976-1983 dictatorship the building of the Casino de Oficiales [Officers' Casino] located inside the premises of the Navy School of Mechanics (ESMA) was used as a main unit of illegal detention and torture. More than 5000 left-wing activists were held captive on the site, and eventually thrown alive into the river. In 2015 a Museum of Memory was launched in the contested building. Since then, the museum's team has developed a careful curatorial script, which included the necessity of protecting the building currently used as legal evidence during the legal trials. In this context, the project "Staging Difficult Pasts" has invited the Polish director, writer and choreographer Wojtek Ziemilski to respond to a particular difficulty acknowledged by the museum by curating one of the most conflictive sites within the building. This initiative provides a timely opportunity to discuss questions of "transnational memory" (Rigney, 2014), "travelling memory" (Erll, 2011), as well as "multidirectional memory" (Rothberg, 2008), which have become umbrella terms within Memory Studies. On the verge of that collaborative work, this presentation raises key questions about facilitating performative ways of staging the past creatively to address transnational generations, usually considered as non-implicated audiences. Ultimately, I will seek to interrogate the ethical, aesthetic and political challenges that make such transnational collaboration between theatres and museums possible.

Prof Maria Delgado
Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London
maria.delgado@cssd.ac.uk

Lluís Pasqual's In Memoriam: how a nation remembers and what it remembers
In this paper, I explore a number of ideas relating to Lluís Pasqual's production of In Memoriam: la quinta del bibero, first seen in 2016. In Memoriam constructs an oral history of the Battle of the Ebro, the longest and bloodiest battle of the Spanish Civil War (July to November 1938), from the testimonies of the conflict's youngest conscripted soldiers. Nicknamed 'the baby bottle brigade' because of their youth, approximately 30,000 teenagers, born in 1920, were recruited largely from Catalonia to form part of the campaign to fight on the Aragon front in the hope of defending Valencia. The presentation examines how the production operates in a heightened climate of challenges to Spanish democracy (corruption scandals, separatist debates in Catalonia). I In Memoriam as an elegy to lost youth-90 per cent of the combatants lost their lives in the battle while survivors were imprisoned inhumanely in concentration or forced labour camps-and a mode of countering narratives that present binary histories of the Civil War-Republican good, Nationalist bad (or vice versa)-into which history has to be made to 'fit'. In Memoriam is the oral history of a disappearing generation-of the twelve combatants interviewed by Pasqual in preparing the production, all but two have died since the production first opened, but also a piece of theatre about how a nation remembers and what it remembers-a pertinent issue for Spain, which has grappled with the legacy of the Civil War and its aftermath through much of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description "Exhibiendo la ausencia y la pérdida: Objetos, narrativas y trauma" [Exhibiting Absence and Loss: Objects, Narratives and Trauma on Display] 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of Staging Difficult Pasts partnership with the Parque de la Memoria, on 23 November 2019, British curator Rosenthal also led the workshop "Exhibiendo la ausencia y la pérdida: Objetos, narrativas y trauma" [Exhibiting Absence and Loss: Objects, Narratives and Trauma on Display" at the Park's PayS exhibition room. The workshop considered the question of how to display or represent objects and narratives which relate to trauma and loss, particularly in relation to issues of identity, family, sexuality, and kinship. While drawing upon a wide spectrum of international case studies, Rosenthal introduced how museums, curators, and artists have made creative use of the limitations and opportunities involved in exhibiting absence and loss in expanded landscapes. While providing new experimental insights and tools to approach the staging of difficult pasts, the event propitiated a fruitful professional exchange among more than 50 local representatives of museums and human rights activists, artists, curators, intellectuals, survivors, and professionals working at memory sites in Argentina. Nora Hochbaum and Florencia Battiti, director and chief curator at the Park, also participated in the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description "From Poland to Argentina: Theatre, Memory, Performativity". XXV Jornadas Nacionales de Teatro Comparado. University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Joint presentation with Bryce Lease and Wojtek Ziemilski on the production of the performance action '90/100'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://iae.institutos.filo.uba.ar/evento/xxv-jornadas-nacionales-de-teatro-comparado
 
Description "Pasados conflictivos en escena" Staging Difficult Pasts at ESMA Memory Museum in Buenos Aires 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In a collaboration between the memory institution and the Staging Difficult Pasts research project, on Saturday 30 November 2019 "Pasados conflictivos en escena" was the last edition of the Five o'Clock Visit at ESMA Memory Site Museum. While offering an alternative approach to the building that functioned as a unit of torture during Argentina's last dictatorship (1976-1983), the event included two performance interventions that addressed issues of memory and conflictive pasts through theatrical strategies. The interventions brought together local and international artists who called into question the figure of the perpetrator and discussed issues of justice. More than 120 people participated in the event. It was the first time the one of the museum's 5 o'Clock Visit was organised by a transnational research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://stagingdifficultpasts.org/esma.html
 
Description 'Jauría: A new trial for La manada on the Spanish stage' presented at the EASTAP conference in Lisbon, Portugal on 24 September 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact 'The jurisdiction of the stage begins where the domain of secular law leaves off', Schiller observed in 1784. A number of verbatim productions in recent years have offered an alternative space for a discussion of the faultiness and fissures of Spain's young democracy. The most recent of these, Jauría (English title Pack) provides a way of engaging with the one of the most contentious trials of Spain's democratic era - that of la manada (the wolfpack), a group of five men from Seville accused of raping an 18-year old woman from Madrid in the hallway of a building in Pamplona during the San Fermín celebrations. The incident was filmed by one of the men on his phone. The men - who included a serving member of the Civil Guard (Spain's rural police force) and a soldier in the Spanish Army - contested that the woman, who was drunk, had participated in consensual sex. The trial lasted five months, attracted significant media coverage and generated wide protests in Spain's major cities. Found guilty of sexual abuse rather than rape, the men have appealed the verdict and are awaiting a hearing at Spain's Supreme Court. Their cause has been championed by the right-wing Vox, Spain's newest political party, which has campaigned on an anti-feminist, anti-immigration, anti-LGBTQ+ platform, gaining 10% of the vote and 24 seats in this year's general election. By exploring the politics and processes of Miguel del Arco's staging of Jauría at Madrid's Pavón Kamikaze theatre, I want to explore how the stage has offered a way of stimulating debates and discussion that have been shut down in the political sphere. The reception of Jauría demonstrates the ways that verbatim theatre in Spain has sought to keep judicial injustices in the public domain, pressing for a space where dissenting views can speak out.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://eastap.com/conference/
 
Description 'The jurisdiction of the stage: and El pan y la sal (Bread and Salt): Baltasar Garzón's historical memory trial as theatre', Paper for the Modern Languages and Cultures Seminar series at the University of Nottingham, 5 Febuary 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact 40-minute paper 'The jurisdiction of the stage: and El pan y la sal (Bread and Salt): Baltasar Garzón's historical memory trial as theatre' at the University of Nottingham 5 February 2020

Spain has 2,591 mass graves. Over 130,000 corpses - the disappeared of the Civil War and the early years of Francoism - are thought to reside in these graves. Investigating Judge Baltasar Garzón was put on trial at Spain's Supreme Court in 2012 for 'prevarication', indicted by a series of right-wing organisations for intentionally violating a 1977 Amnesty Law that forbids any investigation of crimes related to the Franco regime. As Reed Brody, the counsel for Human Rights Watch observed: "Thirty-six years after Franco's death, Spain is finally prosecuting someone in connection with the crimes of his dictatorship - the judge who sought to investigate those crimes."

In this paper, I seek to look at issues related to the edited transcripts of Garzón's trial, presented as a stage work by Madrid's Teatro del Barrio in 2018. El pan y la sal (Bread and Salt) explores issues of cultural heritage, accountability and immunity, asking questions about constitutional politics and the role culture can play in challenging a state-endorsed politics of amnesia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description 90/100 Performance Action 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We commissioned Wojtek Ziemilski to create a performative action of moving TRUPOSZNICA from the Muzeum Etnograficzne to Cricoteka (23 February 2019) that addressed the project's primary research questions. The project team worked carefully with Ziemilski and both cultural institutions in the creation and execution of the performance. This was a performance that commemorated Holocaust memory in Poland. Close to 120 people directly took part in the walking performance, and hundreds of members of the general public encountered this on the city streets. We imagine many more have encountered this through images and stories shared across social media platforms.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description : 'Historical memory on Trial: Baltasar Garzón and El pan y la sal (Bread and Salt, 2018)', presentation at the International Federation for Theatre Research, Shanghai Theatre Academy, 11 July 2019. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact In this paper, part of a broader project on democracy, performance and Spain's difficult past, I seek to look at issues related to Raúl Quirós's edited transcripts of Baltasar Garzón's trial for investigating crimes related to human rights abuses, presented as a stage reading by Madrid's Teatro del Barrio in 2018. El pan y la sal (Bread and Salt) explores issues of cultural heritage, accountability and immunity, asking questions about constitutional politics and the role culture can play in challenging a state-endorsed politics of amnesia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL https://www.iftr.org/conference/past-conferences/2010s
 
Description ARTIST TALK Staging Difficult Pasts: Thomas Heise im Gespräch Vierte Welt (Bezirk Friedrichshain-Kreuzerg, Berlin) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact ARTIST TALK

Staging Difficult Pasts: Thomas Heise im Gespräch

Vierte Welt (Bezirk Friedrichshain-Kreuzerg, Berlin)

Saturday, December 14, 8 pm

Filmemacher Thomas Heise spricht in der Vierten Welt über die Kinematographie der "difficult pasts" in seinen Filmen.

Von Thomas Heise läuft gerade der vielfach preisgekrönte Film "Heimat ist ein Raum aus Zeit" (2019) im Regenbogenkino in Kreuzberg.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.viertewelt.de/archiv/kleine-formate/2019/staging-difficult-pasts_thomas-heise_2019.html
 
Description ATHE Annual Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact ATHE Annual Conference

Orlando, Florida

Wednesday, 7 August 2019, 11:00 am - 12.30 pm

Bryce Lease, 'Poor Objects: Breaking the Ethnographic Frame
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Bystanders & Memory: Between the Museum and the Theatre Public Panel: Erica Lehrer, Roma Sendyka, Bryce Lease 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Friday, 18 October, 6 pm

In December 2018, the exhibition, "Terribly close: Polish Vernacular Artists Face the Holocaust" (Widok zza bliska. Inne obrazy Zaglady), opened at the Ethnographic Museum in Krakow, curated by Erica Lehrer, Roma Sendyka, Wojciech Wilczyk, and Magdalena Zych. The exhibition showcases how local artists in Poland attempted to represent the events they witnessed during World War II. The objects on display in the museum challenge what is understood as Holocaust art, expand the field of Holocaust memory studies to include "minor," "peripheral," or "awkward" objects, as well as contribute to larger debates about "difficult heritage" or "difficult knowledge". In collaboration with the curators, the Staging Difficult Pasts project team commissioned Polish artist Wojtek Ziemilski to create a commemorative performance action, which consisted of transporting a wooden toy in a form of a car, described as "truposznica" or a corpse carrier used transport the dead bodies that had been gassed to be cremated, from the Ethnographic Museum to the Cricoteka, housing the objects and machines associated with the work of Tadeusz Kantor. This panel will reflect upon the exhibition and the performance action, discussing tensions between representation and performativity, the dynamic relationships between museal and theatrical frames and memory and history.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Conference presentation on 'Jauria' at the Jornadas de Teatro Comparativo XXV, University of Buenos Aires, 27 November 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact A presentation on the trial of la manada and its reworking as theatre (in Spanish)

'The jurisdiction of the stage begins where the domain of secular law leaves off', Schiller observed in 1784. A number of verbatim productions in recent years have offered an alternative space for a discussion of the faultiness and fissures of Spain's young democracy. The most recent of these, Jauría (English title Pack) provides a way of engaging with the one of the most contentious trials of Spain's democratic era - that of la manada (the wolfpack), a group of five men from Seville accused of raping an 18-year old woman from Madrid in the hallway of a building in Pamplona during the San Fermín celebrations. The incident was filmed by one of the men on his phone. The men - who included a serving member of the Civil Guard (Spain's rural police force) and a soldier in the Spanish Army - contested that the woman, who was drunk, had participated in consensual sex. The trial lasted five months, attracted significant media coverage and generated wide protests in Spain's major cities. Found guilty of sexual abuse rather than rape, the men have appealed the verdict and are awaiting a hearing at Spain's Supreme Court. Their cause has been championed by the right-wing Vox, Spain's newest political party, which has campaigned on an anti-feminist, anti-immigration, anti-LGBTQ+ platform, gaining 10% of the vote and 24 seats in this year's general election. By exploring the politics and processes of Miguel del Arco's staging of Jauría at Madrid's Pavón Kamikaze theatre, I want to explore how the stage has offered a way of stimulating debates and discussion that have been shut down in the political sphere. The reception of Jauría demonstrates the ways that verbatim theatre in Spain has sought to keep judicial injustices in the public domain, pressing for a space where dissenting views can speak out.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description David Vilaseca Annual Memorial Lecture at Royal Holloway, University of London, delivered on 12 November 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This lecture examines two theatrical pieces, El pan y la sal (2018) and Jauría (2019), which provide public sites for discussing trials that have mobilised public opinion in Spain: the 2012 trial of Investigating Judge Baltasar Garzón, accused of violating an Amnesty Law forbidding any investigation of crimes related to the Franco regime, and the ongoing case of la manada (the wolfpack), a group of five men accused of raping an 18-year old woman in Pamplona. In considering how these cases have been 'restaged', Prof Delgado explores issues of cultural heritage, accountability and immunity, and the role culture can play in challenging both a state-endorsed politics of amnesia and the wider nostalgia for Francoism.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://intranet.royalholloway.ac.uk/doctoral-school/news-events/event-articles/2019-david-vilaseca-...
 
Description Guest appearance on BBC Radio 4's 'In Our Time' 4 July 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936), author of Blood Wedding, Yerma and The House of Bernarda Alba, who mixed the traditions of Andalusia with the avant-garde. He found his first major success with his Gypsy Ballads, although Dali, once his close friend, mocked him for these, accusing Lorca of being too conservative. He preferred performing his poems to publishing them, and his plays marked a revival in Spanish theatre. He was captured and killed by Nationalist forces at the start of the Civil War, his body never recovered, and it's been suggested this was punishment for his politics and for being openly gay. He has since been seen as the most important Spanish playwright and poet of the last century.

With

Maria Delgado
Professor of Creative Arts at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

Federico Bonaddio
Reader in Modern Spanish at King's College London

And

Sarah Wright
Professor of Hispanic Studies and Screen Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London

Producer: Simon Tillotson
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0006dss
 
Description International Interdisciplinary Conference: Memory, Trauma, and Human Rights at the Crossroads of Art and Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact University of Minnesota
October 3-4, 2019
Michal Kobialka: 'Staging Difficult Pasts: Of Awkward Objects and Collateral Memories'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Interview with Pedro Almodóvar on 'Pain and Glory' at the BFi on 9 August 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A public interview following a screening of 'Pain and Glory' at the British Film Institute on 9 August 2019
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bfi.org.uk/video-pedro-almodovar-pain-and-glory
 
Description Interview with Spanish filmmaker Isaki Lacuesta on his film 'Entre dos aguas' (Between two waters) at the ICA as part of the 'Frames of Representation' festival on 17 April 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An interview with Spanish filmmaker Isaki Lacuesta on 17 April 2019 as part of the ICA's 'Frames of Representation' Festival
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Interview with leading Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa at the ICA, discussing his new film 'Vitalina Varela', 3 March 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An interview with Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa following the preview screening of his new film 'Vitalina Varela' at the ICA on 3 March 2020.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.ica.art/films/vitalina-varela-q-a
 
Description Launch of Mezosfera's special issue Past Contemporary: The Politics of Memory in Social Museums and Public Spaces 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation of Issue #7 'Past Contemporary: The Politics of Memory in Social Museums and Public Spaces'. Speakers: Eszter Szakacs and Dóra Hegyi (editors) and Cecilia Sosa. The issue includes contributions by Zsófia Frazon - Zsolt K. Horváth, Sara Greavu, Isel Arango Rodríguez, Rose Jepkorir Kiptum, Cecilia Sosa - Philippa Page, and Marta Lança.

Mezosfera is an international magazine on art and culture published and edited by tranzit.hu in Budapest. The publishing project is a platform for the sharing of knowledge and the building of solidarity while connecting non-central geopolitical regions, mainly among the art and cultural scenes in Eastern Europe: http://mezosfera.org/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.ciacentro.org.ar/node/2512
 
Description Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, University of Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama

University of Manchester

Tuesday, 30 April 2019, 6:00 pm
Staging Difficult Pasts Panel with Maria Delgado & Bryce Lease
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Masterclass as part of London Film Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Coinciding with the screening of Theatre of War (2018) at the London Film Festival in October 2018, director Lola Arias delivered a masterclass on her approaches to theatre making with a specific focus on objects, narratives and memory. Arias explained her method of working with objects, assessing how clothes, pictures, magazines, toys or letters, which have a singular, personal and mostly intimate origin, are differently 'charged' through their staging. Within a theatrical frame those objects become vehicles of transition from personal to collective memory, thus making room for new narratives to emerge. Arias discussed the use of objects in Mi vida después (2009) [My Life After], in which six actors born during Argentina's last dictatorship (1976-1983), wearing the clothes of their parents as a 'time machine', re-inscribe their own place in the present. Arias also reflected on valences of the 'real' in her more recent production, Campo Minado/Minefield (2017), where she worked with six former veterans of Malvinas/Falklands War (1982) from Argentina and the UK, as well as a Nepalese Ghurkha soldier. Finally, she assessed the ways in which her productions, typically dealing with very painful and conflicting memories, work within playful or affirmative performance registers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Masterclass at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) with awardwinning Argentina filmmaker Mariano Llinás, 15 September 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A masterclass with leading Argentine filmmaker Mariano Llinás on his award-winning 13+hour film, 'La flor' on 15 September 2019
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ica.art/films/la-flor-masterclass-with-mariano-llinas
 
Description Masterclass with Xavi Bobés 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Reflecting on his production of Things Easily Forgotten, which explores familial and cultural memory of Spain in the twentieth century, theatre-maker Xavi Bobés led a masterclass on his approach to objects. Bobés describes the ways in which silence offered him a link to objects, allowing him to translate their objectness in a process he compares to the work of an interpreter. He discusses key texts that have shaped his thinking around objects, including Paul Auster's The Invention of Solitude and George Perec's The Infra-Ordinary and Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, and the development of early productions such as The King of Loneliness and Insomni. The masterclass moves through questions of space, time and memory in a theatrical frame. Ultimately, Bobés argues that the expressiveness of the object is discovered through action.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Participation in the 'Representing Memory and Reparation: The Spanish Transition in Global Comparative Perspective' seminar discussion at UCL on 28 October 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Held at the Institute for Advanced Studies at UCL, this panel is organised in response to the film The Silence of Others, which reveals the epic struggle of victims of Spain's 40-year dictatorship under General Franco, who continue to seek justice to this day. We have invited two scholars that work on the representation of memory and reparation in Spain to respond to this film. Two academics from other area studies will respond to their responses. The Silence of Others will be screened on this day at 5pm.

Responses to the film The Silence of Others: Jill Daniels (Arts&Digital Industries, UEL) and Maria Delgado (Royal School of Speech and Drama)
Responses to the film responses from other area studies: Seth Anziska (Jewish Studies, UCL) and Piotr Cieplak (Media and Film, Sussex)
Chaired by Emily Baker (Latin American Studies, SELCS, UCL)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/institute-of-advanced-studies/events/2019/oct/ias-screening-silence-others
 
Description Public Forum on Holocaust Memory and Kantor 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Staging Difficult Pasts: Objects in the State of Unrest'

Public forum on the historical and cultural materiality of objects and their function in theatrical and museological practices.

Panellists: Ludmila Ryba (Teatr Cricot 2), Wojtek Ziemilski, Kolektyw Kuratorski, Erica Lehrer, Roma Sendyka, and Anna Róza Burzynska.

Panel chair: Michal Kobialka.

Location: Cricoteka, ul. Nadwislanska 2-4, 30-527 Kraków
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Public Presentation - Goldsmiths 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact George Wood Theatre, Goldsmiths, University of London

Performance Research Forum

Tuesday, 12 February 2019, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Affect, Theatricality and Spectacle: Commemoration in the History Museum

The Muranów district of Warsaw is a complex palimpsest of pasts and genealogies, a place where for hundreds of years Polish Jews lived and thrived, and where they were later corralled, starved, murdered, and transported to death camps. The newest addition to this memorial landscape, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, has revivified symbolic investments in the district's architectural destruction and the absence of its Jewish populations. Topographically, the significance of the museum is signified through the centrality of its location in the district and its proximity to Nathan Rapoport's Monument to the Ghetto Heroes erected in 1948. In this paper, I will analyze POLIN Museum in its relational engagements with the Rapoport Monument to demonstrate how commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto and the victims of the Holocaust penetrates the entirety of the museum's historical narrative. This museum, I argue, encourages the visitor to honor both the dead and the history of the living, thus making affective modes of commemoration and learning mutually generative. Placing historical consciousness in a commemorative frame that extends memory across multiple ethnic groups, I contend that POLIN Museum offers a shared history, which is constructed through its wider relations to the memorial terrain of the former Warsaw Ghetto and its architectural and design forms. Contrasting POLIN with the Warsaw Uprising Museum, I will consider how a commemorative register can engage with a museum's use of theatricality to activate visitors as historical agents and critical interpreters of the past. In doing so, I will analyse the relationship between affect, theatricality and spectacle in museum spaces that respond to difficult pasts and (competing) narratives of victimhood.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Public Presentation - Tate Liverpool 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact TATE Liverpool

BEYOND THESE ROOMS | ANU & CoisCéim's Dance Theatre

Thursday, 7 February 2019, 11:00 am - 12.30 pm
Panel Discussion: Why Remember?: What place has history in the modern contemporary art space. Object, materials and presentation across art form and culture.

Panellists: Louise Lowe (ANU), Lar Joye (Military Curator), Bryce Lease (Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance, Holocaust Research Institute at Royal Holloway)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-liverpool/tate-exchange/performance/beyond-these-rooms/symposi...
 
Description Public Presentation - University of Leeds 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact WAYS OF REMEMBERING LAS MALVINAS/THE FALKLANDS: Lola Arias' Veterans, Minefield and Theatre of War

School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds

Wednesday, 13 February 2019, 4:30 pm
Maria Delgado

Veterans (2014), Minefield (2016) and Theatre of War (2018) constitute a trilogy of works directed by the Argentine artist Lola Arias where Malvinas/Falklands veterans spectate their own pasts in ways that provide a critical reflection on the ideological construction of official histories. Providing a critical analysis of these works that Arias realised across video art, theatre and film, this presentation discussed how she explores the relationship between experience and fiction), providing a shared site of encounter for those still dealing with the myriad consequences of a conflict with profound implications on the forging of a national consciousness for two nations still negotiating very different postcolonial identities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description ResearchWorks Series: Guildhall School of Music & Drama 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact ResearchWorks Series

Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Monday, 17 June 2019, 6:00 pm

Staging Difficult Pasts Panel with Maria Delgado & Bryce Lease
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Seminar presentation at the University of Oslo 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact A presentation on the implications of the reading of 'El pan y la sal' attended by staff and students at the University of Oslo, on 29 October 2019
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Sites of Violence and Their Communities. Critical Memory Studies in the Post-Human Era, Galicia Jewish Museum, Kraków, Poland 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Sites of Violence and Their Communities. Critical Memory Studies in the Post-Human Era

Galicia Jewish Museum, Kraków, Poland

Wednesday, 25 September 2019, 9-9.30 am
Bryce Lease, "Performances and social rites at non-sites of memory"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Skok pamieciowy - wystawa (Leap of memory - exhibition) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Galeria-Pracownia Tadeusza Kantora

ul. Sienna 7/5

Kraków

Otwarcie: 12.04, godz. 18:00

Czas trwania: 12.04-6.05.2019

(pt.-pn., 12:00-18:00)

Wstep wolny
Rozmawiaja/The Converations of:

13 kwietnia, godz. 16:00 - Karina Jarzynska z Norbertem Delmanem

April 13, 4 PM: Karina Jarzynska with Norbertem Delman

27 kwietnia, godz. 16:00 - Katarzyna Grzybowska z Mateuszem Kula

April 27, 4 PM: Katarzyna Grzybowska with Mateusz Kula

6 maja, godz. 19:00 - Sonia Kadziolka z Lukaszem Surowcem

May 6, 4 PM: Sonia Kadziolka with Lukasz Surowiec



Kuratorzy:

Kolektyw Kuratorski w skladzie: Katarzyna Grzybowska, Karina Jarzynska, Kornelia Kiszewska, Artur Koczon, Wiktoria Koziol, Sonia Kadziolka, Magdalena Machala, Marta Matuszak, Sylwia Papier, Roma Sendyka, Anna Spiechowicz, Maciej Topolski

Organizatorzy:

Cricoteka - Instytucja Kultury Województwa Malopolskiego

Kolektyw Kuratorski, Osrodek Badan nad Kulturami Pamieci, Wydzial Polonistyki Uniwersytetu Jagiellonskiego
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://cracowartweek.pl/en/741-2/
 
Description Staging Difficult Pasts: Of Collateral Archives and Awkward Objects Hörsaal des Instituts für Theaterwissenschaft Freie Universität, Berlin 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact LECTURE

Staging Difficult Pasts: Of Collateral Archives and Awkward Objects

Hörsaal des Instituts für Theaterwissenschaft

Freie Universität, Berlin

Thursday, December 12, 6 PM

Michal Kobialka ist in dieser Dezemberwoche mit einer Gruppe von Doktoranden in Berlin zu Besuch. Gemeinsam mit Master-Studierenden der FU Theaterwissenschaft veranstalten wir eine Geschichtswerkstatt, die sich aus Anlass des 30. Jahrestags des Mauerfalls den unterschiedlichen Inszenierungen des Mauergedenkens widmet.

Abstract: Recent contestations of the archive ask for a practice that exhibits the mediality of the archive-that is to say, an exploration of how the archive has been crafted by a certain experience of time, space, and matter, which are implicit in it, conditions it, and thereby has to be elucidated. On the one hand the encounter with the objects housed in the archive resonates with Walter Benjamin's observation that "the world is present, and indeed ordered, in each of his objects". On the other hand, the encounter with the objects housed in the archive reveals their organization in the form of temporal layers, which have different origins and duration, move at different speeds, have different non-synchronous and asymmetrical depths; as well as their organization in the form of spatial layers, bringing forth contradictions in/within space of their representation (the past) and contradictions of/between spaces of their representation (the past and the present).To substantiate this theoretical discussion, this talk will look at the exhibition, "Awkward Objects of Genocide," opened at the Ethnographic Museum in Krakow in December 2018. It showcased how local, "naïve" artists in Poland attempted to represent the events they witnessed during World War II. The objects on display in the Museum, such as for example, a representation of Jewish suffering via symbolic (Catholic) idiom of Pieta or a Nazi crematorium recalling a nativity crèche, not only expanded the field of Holocaust memory studies to include "minor," "peripheral," or "awkward" objects, but also contributed to larger debates about "difficult heritage" or "difficult past."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description The Past Presented: The Presentation of Narratives, Objects & Public Memory Dublin Festival of History 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dublin Festival of History

The LAB Gallery. Dublin Ireland

Thursday, 10 October 2019, 2-4 pm
A panel discussion with Bryce Lease, Sheena Barrett (The LAB Gallery), Owen Boss (Co-Artistic Director of ANU Productions), Lar Joye (Director of Heritage, Dublin Port) and Brenda Malone (National Museum of Ireland). This panel discussion explores the experience of the viewer, audience and reader engaging with the past through contemporary artworks.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Theatre Workshop for Museum Curators - Ludka Ryba 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Ludmila Ryba, actress in the Cricot 2 Theatre (1979-92), led a week-long intensive workshop on Tadeusz Kantor's approach to objects in his theatre practice. Working with a group of curators (Kolektyw Kuratorski) who were preparing a performative intervention in the Kantor Museum, Ryba introduced Kantor's concept of the actor, burdened not with a role but with objects. Working with Rachel Auerbach's essay 'Lamentation of Dead Things', written in the Warsaw Ghetto, Ryba explored Kantor's vision of the object at the borderline between eternity and the dump. Through a series of exercises and etudes, the curators discovered the specific rules that governed Kantor's practice and the dynamics of creating spacial tensions, a move away from naturalism or illustration to the actuation of metaphor and symbol. The primary focus of the workshop was spatial and visual thinking. The curators were invited to test the materiality of objects, allowing narratives to emerge from the objects themselves rather than being imposed from the outside.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Workshop for theatre directors 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Following his Edward Gordon Craig lecture, Oliver Frljic delivered a masterclass on his approaches to theatre making. Frjlic focused on public and collective memory and countermemory in the Balkans, Poland and Germany. Beginning with Aeschylus' The Persians, he worked through the ways in which the figure of the 'enemy' has been constructed in European theatre history. He then analysed the modes in which he rejects national identity and explores historical narratives that remain unspoken as social taboos in particular cultures. The masterclass concluded with his strategies for deconstructing representation and exploring anti-theatricality and the real. Participants were invited to devise micro-performances using Hamlet and Heiner Müller's Hamletmachine as models for countermemory.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description You May Not See it Triennial of Expanded Media, Belgrade, 10-11 May 2019 TransformArt Gallery 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact You May Not See it

Triennial of Expanded Media, Belgrade, 10-11 May 2019

TransformArt Gallery

Svetog Save 8, Beograd 11000, Serbia

As part of the triennial, this installation is a collaboration between Yoav Galai and Staging Difficult Pasts that interrogates the space of the city of Jerusalem by physically deconstructing an earlier work by documentary photographer Galai. 'Vertical Vista' explores the checkerboard like design of the space of east Jerusalem, in which Jewish settlements were built to break the contiguity of Palestinian villages and towns. This particular landscape exposes the spatial logic of the ethnic construction of the city and contains within it many of the markers that proliferate throughout the city that function as a visual legend to the spatial language of the city. The installation explores ways of making that legend legible by physically deconstructing and reconstructing the printed image along the seams that separate the territories belonging to the communities and by using colour and different techniques highlighting elements that convey the work of political power. The installation allows audiences to directly interact with and disrupt the image with the aim of exposing otherwise invisible political historical fault lines and forms of colonisation in the landscape of the West Bank. Audiences are invited to tear the image apart 'at the seams'. This installation is funded in part by HARI (RHUL).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019