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Open access

“Talking Critically Yet Harmoniously”

It's In Our Bloodlines As Moana Oceania Peoples

Lagi-Maama Academy and Consultancy

Lagi-Maama Academy & Consultancy (Lagi-Maama) is a cultural organization based in Aotearoa New Zealand that we (Toluma‘anave Barbara Makuati-Afitu and Kolokesa Uafā Māhina-Tuai) formally established in August 2018. What we do involves mediating at the intersection of Indigenous communities and institutional settings, to create a more harmonious and hoa/soa/balanced time-space, by imbedding different ways of knowing, seeing, and doing.

Open access

What a Museum Cannot Bear Witness To

Bursa City Museum and the Representation of the Jewish Minority

Sercan Eklemezler

Abstract

The primary motivation behind this study is assessing how successful “inclusive” urban museums really are in representing ethnic/religious minorities. The research site is Bursa City Museum, Turkey, where the Bursa Jewish Community used to be one of the key social and cultural elements of the city. In-depth interviews are the main method of study, since the opinions of this minority on the subject are the main focus. The main aim here is to reveal the ideas of the community (whose collective memories are threatened with extinction) about being represented in the museum, and from this analysis to make constructive suggestions for the institution. It seems that the community cares about being identified as part of the city, but is indifferent to the institution of the museum, partly due to problems in the ways in which they are represented.

Open access

Julie Fedor

This article explores a key claim underpinning Russian official memory politics, namely, the notion that Russia’s past (and especially the role it played in the Second World War) is the object of a campaign of “historical falsification” aimed at, among other things, undermining Russian sovereignty, especially by distorting young people’s historical consciousness. Although “historical falsification” is an important keyword in the Kremlin’s discourse, it has received little scholarly attention. Via an analysis of official rhetoric and methodological literature aimed at history teachers, I investigate the ideological functions performed by the concept of “historical falsification.” I show how it serves to reinforce a conspiratorial vision of Russia as a nation under siege, while simultaneously justifying the drive toward greater state control over history education.

Open access

Place Making in Transit

Literary Interventions at the Airport and in the Underground

Emma Eldelin and Andreas Nyblom

Abstract

Spaces of transit and transportation are often thought of as one-dimensional and as defined by their functionality and rationality, but recent literary texts challenge such preconceptions by representing those spaces as multidimensional and meaningful. In this article, we examine literature through the lens of place making, seeking to understand in what ways literary representations are involved in renegotiations of transit space. Addressing two generic spaces of transit—the underground and the airport—we analyze a body of texts generated through initiatives relating to the London Underground and Heathrow Airport respectively. Arguing that literature contributes to a processual understanding of place, we conclude that literary texts should be considered as instances of place making, and thus deserve serious consideration in research.

Open access

Voices that Matter?

Methods for Historians Attending to the Voices of the Past

Josephine Hoegaerts

Abstract

How do we thoroughly historicize the voice, or integrate it into our historical research, and how do we account for the mundane daily practices of voice … the constant talking, humming, murmuring, whispering, and mumbling that went on offstage, in living rooms, debating clubs, business meetings, and on the streets? Work across the humanities has provided us with approaches to deal with aspects of voices, vocality, and their sounds. This article considers how we can mobilize and adapt such interdisciplinary methods for the study of history. It charts out a practical approach to attend to the history of voices—including unmusical ones—before recording, drawing on insights from the fields of sound studies, musicology, and performativity. It suggests ways to “listen anew” to familiar sources as well as less conventional source material. And it insists on a combination of analytical approaches focusing on vocabulary, bodily practice, and the questionable particularity of sound.

Open access

(Re)Constructing the Baikal-Amur Mainline

Continuity and Change of (Post)Socialist Infrastructure

Olga Povoroznyuk

Abstract

The construction of the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) in East Siberia and the Russian Far East in the 1970s and 1980s was the largest technological and social engineering project of late socialism. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the BAM was dogged by economic bust, decline, and public disillusionment. BAM-2, a recently launched state program of technological modernization, aims to complete a second railway track. The project elicits memories as well as new hopes and expectations, especially among “builders of the BAM.” This article explores continuity and change between BAM-1 and BAM-2. It argues that the reconstruction efforts of the postsocialist state are predetermined by the durability of the infrastructure as a materialization of collective identities, memories, and emotions.

Open access

State of Uncertainty

Educating the First Railroaders in Central Sakha (Yakutiya)

Sigrid Irene Wentzel

Abstract

In July 2019, the village of Nizhniy Bestyakh in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutiya), the Russian Far East, was finally able to celebrate the opening of an eagerly awaited railroad passenger connection. Through analysis of rich ethnographic data, this article explores the “state of uncertainty” caused by repeated delays in construction of the railroad prior to this and focuses on the effect of these delays on students of a local transportation college. This college prepares young people for railroad jobs and careers, promising a steady income and a place in the Republic's wider modernization project. The research also reveals how the state of uncertainty led to unforeseen consequences, such as the seeding of doubt among students about their desire to be a part of the Republic's industrialization drive.

Open access

Afterword

The Work of Culture, Heritage, and Musealized Spaces in “Unprecedented Times”

Christina Kreps

Abstract

Writing at the midpoint of 2020, it has become cliché to say we are living in unprecedented times as the world copes with a confluence of events and challenges near cataclysmic proportions—the COVID-19 pandemic, civic unrest, social and political upheavals, and disrupted economies. In these times, what should be the work of culture, heritage, and musealized spaces and those that study them? I reflect on the articles in the special section, which stand as examples of engaged research and scholarship that seek to make visible troubled histories and presents, and to amplify voices that have for too long been silenced or ignored. Such visibility work surfaces what does and does not have precedent, what has and has not changed, and what is truly different and revolutionary. The articles draws on historical, comparative, and global perspectives to enrich knowledge gained from firsthand observation and engagement with local communities. Using Donna Haraway's concept of “tentacular thinking,” I argue that we need not only to shed light on difficult chapters in our histories, but also to offer tools for understanding, guidance, and thoughtful actions in the present.

Open access

Art Gallery Education in New Zealand during COVID-19

The Emergence of a Community of Practice

Esther Helen McNaughton

Abstract

This article describes the unprecedented coming together of New Zealand art gallery educators to respond to the challenges of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. This newly formed community of practice met virtually three times at critical points. At each stage, new concerns were discussed and understandings evolved. The gallery educators were able to approach shared issues cooperatively, enabling mutual support to a degree that had hitherto not been possible. By the end of these meetings, gallery educators were reestablishing their regular teaching practice with the integration of many of the innovations of the period. Additionally, the meetings fulfilled a preexisting desire for closer contact and professional support, and thus proved to be the foundation of an ongoing national professional group for New Zealand art gallery educators.

Open access

Paulette Wallace

What Is Public History Globally? Working with the Past in the Present. Paul Ashton and Alex Trapeznik, eds. London: Bloomsbury, 2019.

The Disobedient Museum: Writing at the Edge. Kylie Message. Museums in Focus series. London: Routledge, 2018.

A Museum in Public: Revisioning Canada's Royal Ontario Museum. Susan L. T. Ashley. Museums in Focus series. London: Routledge, 2020.

Anti-Museum. Adrian Franklin. Museums in Focus series. London: Routledge, 2020.

Collecting Activism, Archiving Occupy Wall Street. Kylie Message. Museums in Focus series. London: Routledge, 2019.