There have been some really interesting conversations going on in and around archaeology in response to the removal of memorials related to the Confederacy in the USA. Most of the conversations I had ended with people really interested in the idea of reinterpretation of existing memorials, using the opportunity of an object’s physical presence in the landscape to say something different to what that thing might have been intended to represent.
I thought this would be an interesting thing to have a go at, so Kate Tiernan and I will be ‘reimagining memorials’ next week as part of a residency at Platform in Southwark. Join us! The residency is part of our collaboration Centre for Social Archaeology.
The week will start on Wednesday 13th when we will undertake a research walk around Southwark. Our aim is to start defining what contemporary Southwark means and what the things are that make up that identity. There is no set route for the walk so participants can take a turn at leading us somewhere interesting or important.
On Thursday 14th, we will start to turn this research into a plan of action, starting with a debate on what Southwark is. What is Southwark’s memorial landscape and what story does it tell? What do we think of individual memorials? What should be remembered but isn’t? Why does it matter?
Friday 15th will see us getting practical as we work out how to reimagine existing memorials and make new ones! Political archaeology, however small scale, is about doing. We will learn how to do. The session will end with a strategy and methods for intervention to create a new, ephemeral, temporary heritage in the landscape of Southwark.
Lastly, on Saturday 16th, we’re going to go and do it. We will put the last few days into action, reimagining memorials, proposing new ones, and generally turning the heritage of Southwark into a contemporary act.
These should work as stand-alone events, but please come to more than one!
Tweet me for more information @James__Dixon