Slow Memory: transformative practices for times of uneven and accelerating change (SlowMemo)
We are living in times of deep contradictions. While our world accelerates and grows smaller through superfast digital networks, it is also marked by widening socio-economic disparities. We face viral pandemics, rapid species extinction, increased automation of work, quick fixes for mental health, political upheavals and displacements of old certainties. Adaptation and resilience to these challenges must draw on past experiences and cultural resources – this can only happen if we slow down and take time to remember well. This Action addresses the need for increased interdisciplinarity in our understanding of how societies confront their past to contend with environmental, economic and social changes brought on by sudden events and by slow and creeping transformations. The future of peace, prosperity, politics, work and climate will depend upon how we remember socio-cultural and political changes. Transformative practices of remembrance – as objects of study and as critical interventions – will be shared collaboratively across Arts and Sciences in order to reveal the ways in which humans confront large-scale processes of change. This Action will uniquely focus the attention of scholars, policymakers and cultural professionals on alternative paths to build resilience in the face of contemporary rapid-response culture. Through transnational and interdisciplinary discussions, we will address urgency, emergency, crisis and acceleration by drawing together the ‘multi-sited’, ‘eventless’ and slow-moving phenomena that can best be studied by ‘slowing down’ our research methods, to afford capacity building, knowledge generation and impact activities. Inspired by ‘slow science’ (Stengers 2018), we seek an alternative kind of social remembering.
memory and heritage studies – oral history – inequality – political culture – democratic governance