Reframing identities

Reframing identities

Within the framework of the model project new undisc_vered narratives, there is an open call for a consultant in residence who is able to tackle, in a critical, constructive manner, narratives on homeland and identity constructions in the permanent archaeological exhibition at smac (Chemnitz State Museum of Archaeology). The consultant in residence is invited, for example, to address the following questions for the permanent exhibition:

  • What identity-forging narratives exist? (Regional, national, other group affiliations)
  • What concepts of ethnicity does the exhibition evoke? How are terms such as ‘(archaeological) culture’, ‘tribe’, ‘people’ and ‘nation’ used?
  • Where and how do historical ruptures occur? What ruptures remain invisible?
  • At what points does the exhibition offer a connection to migrant perspectives, and/or where does the exhibition omit this?
  • What histories are told, and how could the histories be told differently? The aim is toprovide stimuli for an alternative narrativeframe work.

The organizers are looking for a consultant (or tandem) who can address these questions with creative ideas. The research work must be documented. You are free to choose the form this documentation takes. It could be an academic report, an essay, a literary text, a poem, a lecture, a play or a temporary artistic intervention (the latter requires authorisation from smac and the design agency).

General conditions:

  • The project timeframe is in September/October, and can be agreed flexibly with the consultants.
  • The results must be able to be presented in a suitable form at the ‘Aufstand der Geschichten’ (AT) (‘Uprising of Histories’) festival, which runs in Chemnitz from 3 to 10 November 2018.
  • The consultant(s) receive(s) an allowance/grant of €3000, accommodation and travel costs (upon agreement).
  • smac will support the consultants, linking them with the ‘Change the smac’ project, within the framework of the Federal Cultural Foundation’s ‘360° Fund for New City Cultures’ programme.
  • The consultants are free to cooperate with other projects forming part of the interface project. In fact this is desired.
  • The consultant(s) can lead excursions to participating institutions or to archaeological monuments in Saxony.

Deadline for applying is 15 May 2018, and by means of a short conceptual outline. Send a short cover letter, your concept, references and a CV to: franz.knoppe@asa-ff.de.

smac in short: smac presents 300,000 years of global and regional cultural history. It is an institution of the Saxony State Office for Archaeology and a cultural ambassador for the Free State of Saxony. smac opened in May 2014, in the former Schocken department store in the heart of Chemnitz. Its permanent exhibition (approx 3,000 m²) presents Saxony’s archaeology and cultural history along with the building’s German/Jewish history. It hosts exhibitions on the life and work of the well-known architect Erich Mendelsohn, on the Schocken department store and on Salman Schocken, the department store’s founder, who was also a publisher and patron of the arts. 
In its special exhibitions (approx 1000 m²), smac looks beyond the state’s archaeology and hosts exhibitions that address debates in current society, presenting them in their historical context (money, urban society, intercultural relationships), or which present other countries’ archaeology and cultural history. True to its claim ‘Discover cultures – Understand history’, the aim of smac and its programme is to invite visitors to actively think about cultural diversity in historical contexts and in the present day. In order to achieve this objective, smac reflects upon its own actions, and where necessary corrects its practice relating to education, scholarship and how it conveys information, in order to react to sociopolitical processes of change.

nun – new undisc_vered narratives:  The model project new undisc_vered narratives is an interface project between art, civil society and science, in order to develop approaches for action against right-wing populism that span generations and target groups, enabling the broadest sections to be integrated into urban society. It is based on the transfer of methods and experiences between Chemnitz and other European cities with comparable histories of transformation. The project is a space for experimentation, and therefore has no preconceptions about results.

about asa-ff e.V.: ASA FF e.V. and the project team ‘Unentdeckte Nachbarn’ (‘Undiscovered Neighbours’) theatre as a group of theatre producers, conflict researchers and administration specialists, organised the theatre meeting ‘Unentdeckte Nachbarn’ in Chemnitz and Zwickau in November 2016, five years after the self-unmasking of the NSU (National Socialist Underground).

Its aim was to make visible the continuities of the NSU’s support system and to make the voices of the people affected heard. It linked local municipal, regional and national remembrance initiatives to the interfaces between culture, civil society and science. The objective was to open up creative spheres of activity in order to critically support the process of dealing with the past in Saxony on a legal, parliamentary, institutional and cultural level. The follow-up project new undisc_vered narratives refines the methods of this creative transformation of discourse. The theatre group was initiated by the Grass Lifters: art activists who “don’t want to let the grass grow” over the NSU’s crimes, and who again and again provoke public discussion in Saxony thanks to their targeted interventions.

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