Throughout the world, legacies of war, colonialism, genocide and oppression return again and again to dominate contemporary culture. In a major new anthology of material edited by Leon Wainwright, published this year by Manchester University Press, artists, curators and academics come together to explore how such legacies can inspire creative approaches to remembering and challenging the past.
Contributors begin with the idea that any meaningful encounter with the past has to be felt at a personal level, no matter how difficult an event may be to recall and represent. Recollecting stories of this kind is complex and sensitive, and the book demonstrates how the process can beneﬁt from the joint efforts of people from different ﬁelds, including professional art practices, art history and visual culture studies, social anthropology, literary studies, history, museology and cultural policy studies.
The result is a detailed global picture that presents a variety of new approaches to confronting dominant historical narratives and shaping alternative interpretations. It gathers voices, histories and images from diverse contexts including South Africa, Germany, Namibia, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway, the Israeli-Palestinian conﬂict and Australia.
'Disturbing Pasts: Memories, Controversies and Creativity’ is the outcome of a Knowledge Transfer and Network Project, funded by the European Science Foundation and led by Principal Investigator Leon Wainwright, through a partnership between the OU and the Weltmuseum Wien (Vienna). You can read more about the project here.