Recollection and Representation

Memory’s lane is a narrow, twisting and discontinuous route back through the broad plains of the past, leading to a self that by definition we can never remember but only construct through the limited and partial evidence available to us – half hints of memory, photographs, memorabilia, other people’s remembrances.

Liz Stanley (1992), The Autobiographical I, Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, p.62.

Since the 1990’s, there has been a proliferation of research on the relationship between photography and memory, such as seminal works by Jo Spence and Patricia Holland, Editors (Family Snaps: The Meanings of Domestic Photography, 1991), Annette Kuhn, (Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination, 1995), and Marianne Hirsch (Family Frames: Photography, Narrative, and Postmemory, 1997 and The Familial Gaze, 1999). In particular, the family album has been used as a route to autobiographical writing or visual interpretation that encourages remembrance and the close examination of personal histories, documented by writers, such as, Laura Marcus (1994), Liz Stanley (1995) and Gen Doy (2005), and, by artists such as, Trish Morrissey, Annelies Strba and Gillian Wearing. This recollection and interrogation of memories and family relationships has also led to methods of re-imagining, re-staging and role-play, underpinned by the re-enactment phototherapy work of Jo Spence and Rosy Martin in the mid-late 1980’s.

‘Family Ties: Recollection and Representation’ Conference

8th and 9th March 2012

Chancellor’s Hall and Court Room, Senate House, University of London

Organiser: Dr. Sally Waterman, Visiting Fellow, Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory,            Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London 

Keynote speakers:  Rosy Martin and Prof. Marsha Meskimmon, Loughborough University

Thursday 8th March 2012 

18.00  Wine Reception

18.45  Screening of 2001-A Family Odyssey: Ophelia’s Version (Dir. Sarah Miles, 2002, 50’)                                             

19.35  Sarah Miles in conversation with Dr. Lucy Reynolds (University of the Arts)                                                           

Friday 9th March 2012

Chancellor’s Hall

09.50  Welcome and Introduction: Dr. Sally Waterman

10.00  Keynote Lecture: Marsha Meskimmon (Loughborough University)                                      ‘Of Mourning, Mothers and Chocolate: Double Infinity and the Affective Gift’

11.00  Coffee


Chancellor’s Hall

Panel 1: A QUESTION OF CONTEXT (Chair: Pat Holland, Bournemouth University)

11.30  Paper 1: Deborah Schultz (Richmond, American University in London) ‘Representations of the Family in Contemporary Photography’                       

12.00 Paper 2: Angela Kelly (Rochester Institute of Technology, New York) ‘Catharsis: Images of Post Conflict Belfast 2010-11’

12.30  Paper 3: Emily Fuggle (Imperial War Museum, London) ‘Sole Traces of Existence: the Use of Family Photographs in the Life before the Nazis section of the Imperial War Museum’s Holocaust Exhibition’

Court Room

Panel 2: LIFE HISTORIES (Chair: Katia Pizzi, IGRS, University of London)

11.30  Paper 4: Anna Izabela Cichoń (University of Wrocław) ‘Family Frames, Memory and Autobiography: Doris Lessing’s Under my Skin and Walking in the Shade’

12.00  Paper 5: Suze Adams (University of the West of England) ‘Communion: Oral Histories Retold, Ancestral Lands Reframed’ (A performative film made in response to the Isle of Mull)

12.30  Paper 6: David Jackson (University of Bedfordshire) ‘Mediterranean (So Blue, So Beautiful): An Auto-Ethnography in Pictures’

13.00  Lunch(own arrangements)


Chancellor’s Hall

Panel 3: SHIFTING TECHNOLOGIES (Chair: Carol Hudson, University of West London)

14.30  Paper 7: Jacqueline Butler (Manchester Metropolitan University) ‘The Wonder of Forgetting, Collecting and Assembling’

15.00  Paper 8:Nicky Bird (Glasgow School of Art) ‘Looking a Gift Horse…: Generosity and the Digital Exchange of Family Photographs’

15.30  Paper 9: Sylvie Prasad(University of East London) ‘May Days: an Examination of Mobile Filmmaking, Family and Memory’

Court Room

Panel 4: TRAUMA: WAR AND EXILE (Chair: Deborah Schultz, Richmond, American University in London)

14.30  Paper 10: Deirdre Byrnes (National University of Ireland, Galway) ‘Presenting the Past: Photography, Memory Gaps and Postmemory in Monika Maron’s   Family Story Pawels Briefe’

15.00  Paper 11: Lizzie Thynne (Sussex University) ‘On the Border: Exploring a post-war Finnish Family Biography through Video Practice’

15:30  Paper 12: Leslie Hakim-Dowek (University of Portsmouth) ‘The City that Exploded Slowly: Photo-Text Series Mapping a Personal Archaeology in War-Torn Beirut’

16.00  Tea


Chancellor’s Hall

Panel 5: REVISITING LOSS (Chair: Naomi Segal, Birkbeck, University of London/IGRS)

16.30  Paper 13: Patrizia Violi (University of Bologna) ‘Documentary filmmaking as Elaboration of Mourning: Family and Collective History in Un’ora sola ti vorrei (Director Alina Marazzi, Italy, 2002)’

17.15  Paper 14:  Sarah Pucill (University of Westminster) ‘Re-Enactment as Cathartic Ritual in the Film Stages Of Mourning’

Court Room

Panel 6: ARTISTS EXPLORING THE FAMILY ARCHIVE                                                           (Chair: Eti Wade, University of West London)

16.30  Paper 15: Trish Morrissey (Photographic Artist) ‘The Imposter and the Family Album’

17.00  Paper 16: Hamish Gane (Swansea Metropolitan University) ‘200 Seconds:In Light of the Past. Long-Exposure Photographs, Created during the Projection of Family Cine Films, Exploring a Space between Perception and Recollection

17.30  Paper 17: Michael O’Brien (Roehampton University) ‘Memory House’

18.00  Close and Wine Reception

18.30  Chancellor’s Hall, Coffin Trust Lecture

           Rosy Martin:  ‘On Looking Back: Photography, Memory and Forgetting’

Rosy Martin’s video, Getting Changed (2008, 17 min) was on show in the adjoining Athlone room during the conference. Using re-enactment as a performative action of becoming, Martin transforms herself into her remembered mother, lost before her death through dementia.

RosyMartin_GettingChanged_01 RosyMartin_GettingChanged_02

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