P162
Materializing the past and imagining the future

Convenors:
Carol Ann Kidron (University of Haifa)
Maris Boyd Gillette (Göteborgs Universitet)
Format:
Panels
Location:
SO-F289
Start time:
17 August, 2018 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

The panel examines the way the past is enlisted, emplaced, materialized and/or contested by displaced migrants, marginalized minorities and destabilized majorities to negotiate and (re-)constitute future imaginaries of place and belonging.

Long abstract:

This panel grapples with the way the past is enlisted, emplaced, materialized and/or contested and destabilized in an attempt to constitute new imaginaries of the present and future. Ethnographic accounts illustrate the way displaced migrants, marginalized minorities and forgotten urban denizens literally and figuratively left behind by the failed futures of post-industrialization, post-colonialism, globalization and post-conflict governance struggle to re-negotiate and re-constitute place and belonging. Although blighted and constrained by challenging chronotopes - by diverse temporal and spatial contexts under duress - they enlist the past to re-activate and reinvigorate halted futures. Some presentations depict the construction of concrete material social and cultural artifacts – commemorative sites, ceremonies, museums, theatrical performances, and urban renewal. These artifacts mobilize material remains and ruins while also emplacing ideological/moral imaginaries in the face of underdevelopment, marginalization and Otherness at the hands of global cosmopolitanism, modernization and post-industrial development. Hybrid sites and ceremonies emerge that encapsulate both challenging pasts and the hope of reinvigorated futures. Other presentations examine the way the past is to put to work in protracted interpersonal or inter-group negotiations enlisted and re-configured in contested contact zones. Local elite/majorities under duress, displaced migrants/refugees or historically marginalized ethnic minorities negotiate divisive histories and memories to restore and/or contest belonging. Emergent imaginaries may continue to destabilize and foreshorten horizons of expectations. The way the past is put to work is depicted – be it history, mythic foundational events, atemporal religious cosmological tales, or forgotten material traces – to breach the boundaries of constricted spatiality or frozen/halted time.