Panel: Radical memories, imagined futures: practices of history-making and prefiguration in social movements, 21.-25.06.2015, Zagreb

International Society for Ethnology and FolkloreInternational Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) 2015 12th Congress (Web)
Venue: Zagreb, Croatia
Time: 21-25 June 2015

  • Convenors: Marion Hamm (University of Graz) and Johanna Stadlbauer (University of Graz)

This panel explores the dynamics between radical memories and imagined futures by examining the everyday practices in social movements. It invites contributions on narrative, visual, musical, corporeal or archival practices of producing new social imaginations looking to both past and future.
Social movements are suspended between radical memories and imagined futures. In their everyday realities, they prefigure alternative futures (Maeckelbergh), and construct radical heritages which ground them in history. As moments of collective creation (Eyerman/Jamison) they provide societies with new forms of social imagination which circulate in embodied and digital forms.
The panel explores performative processes of radical mythmaking (Wu Ming) in social movements. It invites contributions on narrative, visual, musical, corporeal or archival practices of making cultural memory and visions of the future. How do practices of historical and prefigurative meaningmaking pan out in different stages of social movement cycles? How are futures prefigured during hot moments of struggle and confrontation; how do these translate into radical memory? What happens when active movements slide into a state of submerged networks (Melucci)?

  • Contributions can explore one or more of three key avenues:
  • Reading movement’s own media productions as symbolic, aesthetic or performative practices of memory and prefiguration
  • Informal or institutional archival practices regarding radical histories digitally and conventionally; e.g. Undercurrents (UK), Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv (CH); Archiv der Jugendkulturen, Umbruch Bildarchiv (DE)
  • Biographical practices and subjectivities: How do these relate to collective imaginations of radical pasts and futures?

The panel provides a platform to reflect on existing and emerging cultural approaches to social movements, based on empirical research. As cultural analysis is gaining currency in research on social movements, the panel aims to harness the methodological and epistemological expertise of scholars of culture (visual, material & digital culture, ethnography).