Research programme and approach of POEM (H2020)

For the first time a relational research approach is taken on the practices through which, institutions, people, and groups as well as memory modalities are building connectivities in memory work. It will learn from successful examples as well as from the mismatches, conflicts, and obstacles in these processes of PMW, which give the possibility for reflection on how to bridge the gaps. An emphasis will be made on inclusive and empowering practices for groups on the margins, refugees, migrants, colonial groups, disadvantaged young people under consideration of gender questions, and contribute to a new understanding of how a socially inclusive public memory for future possibilities can be created. Research approaches from mixed methods, action research, collaborative ethnography, ethnography of infrastructure, and design anthropology will guarantee a future oriented robust knowledge production in this ETN.

The connectivity building practices will be studied from three perspectives, memory institutions, people and groups, and memory modalities, each organised in a work package assembling complementary perspectives in the single ESRs research projects and the option for contrasting data from the diverse research contexts. The principles of complementarity and contrasting (groups, nation, gender, social situation, media formats, infrastructures) will be applied across each work package and facilitate the joint knowledge production across all ESRs research projects.  

The POEM ETN will take a relational perspective that integrates the diverse research paradigms of participatory memory work and brings them together in a reflexive way. By taking up and integrating research paradigms of the inclusive museum, open repositories and participatory archives, digital heritage, design anthropology, media studies, and critical heritage studies, it will develop a comprehensive picture of the current practices and modalities of PMW. The comprehensive perspective on the stakeholders of PMW will allow the identification of overlaps, mismatches, and gaps as well as obstacles in their memory practices. This comprehensiveness as well as the model building with the capacity for guiding future PMW are beyond the state of the art.  

Programme and focus areas “Participatory Memory Practices”

The research will be developed in an action and design oriented participatory approach that involves various relevant stakeholders and is thus capable to produce robust knowledge that is tested through empirical validation and relevance across various social domains. In this understanding the “audiences” and “users” are addressed as citizens and experts in a transdisciplinary knowledge area of PMW and thus as competent actors, defining what is relevant for memory practices in everyday life.

In this participatory orientation, the project will provide conceptual space for addressing the past for future possibilities and solving the current problems of marginalized people and groups in memory work by integrating aspects of social entrepreneurship and design anthropology. The research is designed for inquiring the modalities, attitudes, and practices that are necessary for thinking beyond mere media connectivities towards the openness and the capability to connect to public memory work from various sides of social and cultural life and under consideration of the legal and economic conditions.

1. Connectivities built by institutions

The four research projects will provide deeper insights and theoretical reflection on connectivities built by institutions. It will produce knowledge about the variety of participatory approaches, which consider the new mediated memory modalities or build them up newly, e.g. in approaches of reuse of digital heritage or social media communication with audiences. By studying how PMW affects professional memory work at its core and the organisational structure as a whole, as well as the expectations about the audiences and their role in memory work, the structures to which people and groups from culturally and gender diverse backgrounds can connect will become visible. 

Professional take on participation will study how professionals in memory institutions cope with the requirements of PMW in their daily work and how they can integrate participatory ideas and concepts in their professional practices of collecting, sustaining, imparting, and researching. The concepts and understandings of participation of the professionals in memory institutions will be inquired in its variety considering the job roles, gender aspects, and diverse professions. 

Fellow:
Inge Zwart

Supervisor(s):
Prof Dr Isto Huvila
Dr Maria Economou

Local Supervisor:
Dr Inga-Lill Aronsson

Host institution:
Uppsala University

Crowdsourcing of cultural heritage digital collections through gamification will inquire on the use and the potential of diverse types of crowdsourcing for encouraging participation and co-creation of diverse users in cultural heritage. It seeks to understand what type of engagement with cultural collections crowdsourcing and gamification can support. The project will be testing and evaluating the effectiveness in encouraging user participation and how the user generated materials can help open up the collections to new audiences and uses.

Fellow:
Franziska Mucha

Supervisor(s):
Dr Maria Economou
Assist.-Prof Dr Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Local Supervisor:
Dr Frank Hopfgartner

Host institution:
University of Glasgow

The role of museums’ social media for the engagement with arts and culture will research the role of different social networks within museums’ communication activities and analyse the nature and type of interactions on social media with stakeholders and users for understanding the motivation of users engaging with museum social media about cultural experiences and the impact and quality of this engagement in relation to the offline museum experience.

Fellow:
Cassandra Kist

Supervisor(s):
Dr Maria Economou
Prof Dr Elisabeth Tietmeyer

Local Supervisor:
Prof Dr David Gaimster

Host institution:
University of Glasgow

Collaboration and incorporation of vulnerable groups in professional PMW will focus on the cultural exhibitions and events on the current refugees. On the example of this vulnerable group the conditions and ethics of displaying contemporary human disasters and of incorporating it into the public memory. It will contextualise the activities and impact of memory institutions today in the public debate about refugees and in the coping of memory institutions with former refugee movements in European history. 

Fellow:
Susanne Boersma

Supervisor(s):
Prof Dr Elisabeth Tietmeyer
Prof Dr Gertraud Koch

Host institution:
Museum Europäischer Kulturen

2. Connectivities built by people and groups

The five research projects will provide deeper insights and theoretical reflection on Participatory Memory Work and connectivities built by people and groups. It seeks to learn from the personal public memory practices of people and groups on social media platforms and their engagement with cultural materials from memory institutions. It will produce knowledge about the people and groups’ motivations, ideas about use and reuse of cultural materials, possible empowering strategies of young people in marginalized populations and the power of imagination of possible futures through participatory memory work.

Sharing vs. collecting? Perceptions of photographs online will develop an understanding of current practices of online photo sharing by investigating people’s perceptions, attitudes, and expectations and their engagement with different Internet platforms and their particular options of sharing and communicating visual materials. 

Fellow:
Lorenz Widmaier

Supervisor(s):
Assist.-Prof Dr Theopisti
Prof Dr Isto Huvila

Local Supervisor:
Prof Dr Panayiotis Zaphiris

Host institution:
Cyprus University of Technology

Future memory making: Collaborative prototyping of (post-)colonial imaginations with Namibian youth will prototype with young people from Namibia representations of alternative colonial narratives and imaginations. It will engage the youths in researching and prototyping future memories for creating agency in the present: technologically empowered through engagement with digital and visual media; and situated in potential new worlds in which their voices become an active part of the collective consciousness and commemoration.

Fellow:
Asnath Paula Kambunga

Supervisor(s):
Assist.-Prof Dr Rachel Charlotte Smith
Prof Dr Ton Otto

Local Supervisor:
Prof Dr Heike Winschiers-Theophilus

Host institution:
Aarhus University

Future memory making: Co-creation of (post-)colonial imaginations by young people from Greenland and Denmark will collaboratively explore and experiment with everyday memories of colonialism and their effects upon present identities. Using digital technology and visual media, the projects will research/use everyday stories and identities, local archives, and other resources and analogue materials. It will contrast, discuss, and bridge the perspectives of youths from Greenland and Denmark.

Fellow:
Anne Chahine

Supervisor(s):
Prof Dr Ton Otto
Assist.-Prof Dr Rachel Charlotte Smith

Host institution:
Aarhus University

Young people empowerment and social inclusion through PMW in Ashoka Changemaker Schools will study what are the competences, practices, and attitudes that an individual enables to participate in public memory work. It will seek to understand what forms of social organisation support making memories for future possibilities among young people, what encourages PMW, and under which conditions PMW is empowering for underprivileged school students.

Fellow:
Elina Moraitopoulou

Supervisor(s):
Ross Hall
Prof Dr Gertraud Koch

Host institution:
Ashoka

Uses of digital cultural heritage databases for people’s memory and identity work will study how online photographic archives maintained by memory forming institutions are used by people and how they may influence national, local, and individual memory and identities. More specifically it examines how people use online photographic archives in memory institutions and the meaning of these uses. 

Fellow:
Myrto Theocharidou

Supervisor(s):
Assist.-Prof Dr Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert
Dr Maria Economou

Local Supervisor:
Prof Dr Panayiotis Zaphiris

Host institution:
Cyprus University of Technology

3. Connectivities built by memory modalities

The four research projects will provide deeper insights into the connectivities built by memory modalities: It will produce knowledge about what participation enabling qualities are that institutions, people, and groups perceive in their engagement with the current mediatized memory ecology. It will seek to understand in which way participation is encouraged or hindered by the specific nature of digital infrastructures of professional institutions for collecting, archiving, displaying, and retrieving information, the Internet platforms for individual or collective memory practices and sharing cultural materials, the legal frameworks for copyrights and open access, the gendered cultural economy of the digital, as well as the ethical considerations and codes of conducts guiding public memory work.

Memory modalities in diverse types of memory institutions will study the nature and quality of digital memory modalities of the involved memory institutions in their socio-technical potential for participatory interaction and in respect to their specific forms in the diverse types of memory institutions. Furthermore, it will collect best practices examples of memory modalities facilitating participatory approaches across European institutions.

Fellow:
Quoc-Tan Tran

Supervisor(s):
Prof Dr Gertraud Koch

Prof Dr Isto Huvila

Host institution:
University of Hamburg

Modalities of personal memory work will study ordinary people’s practices of doing personal memory work, the forms and the materials they use therefore. It will focus on the practical aspects of collecting, maintaining, and retrieving personal remembrances, as well as the meanings given to the personal memory work. 

Fellow:
Jennifer Krueckeberg

Supervisor(s):
Prof Dr Gertraud Koch
Assist.-Prof Dr Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

Linking to the host institution:
University of Hamburg

Managing participatory ecologies of memory modalities will study from an ego-centric perspective how people manage their participation in memory work as membership of diverse networks that constitute the personal participatory ecologies between individuals (professionals, non-professionals), collective, and institutional actors by doing case studies. It will seek to understand the memory modalities, and how they facilitate or restrict in each case the participation envisioned by the people.

Fellow:
Dydimus Zengenene

Supervisor(s):
Prof Dr Isto Huvila
Assist.-Prof Dr Rachel Charlotte Smith

Local Supervisor:
Dr Olle Sköld

Linking to the host institution:
Uppsala University

Internet ecologies of open knowledge as future memory modalities will study conditions for the openness of data and business models of sharing cultural materials of public and private providers. It will investigate the diverse qualities of openness of cultural data provided by memory institutions and private providers, i.e. public and private aggregators of cultural data (e.g. Europeana, Digital Repository of Ireland, Google Cultural Institute, Wikimedia), and social media platforms (e.g. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr) on the Internet

Fellow:
Angeliki Tzouganatou

Supervisor(s):
Prof Dr Gertraud Koch
Prof Dr Isto Huvila

Host institution:
University of Hamburg

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POEM

Coordination and Project Management

University of Hamburg
c/o: Institute of European Ethnology/Cultural Anthropology
Grindelallee 46 | 20146 Hamburg | Germany

+49 (0)40 42838-9940

poem.gwiss@uni-hamburg.de 
POEM Uni Hamburg

Concepts, strategies and media infrastructures for envisioning socially inclusive potential futures of European Societies through culture.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 764859.