Cultural Politics of Memory Conference in Cardiff

 

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Bringing together almost 150 academics from across Europe and North America, the International Conference on the Cultural Politics of Memory at Cardiff University provided interdisciplinary insight into the diverse way memory studies is being utilized to contextualize contemporary life, societies and cultures.

Cardiff provided a very relevant backdrop for our discussions of memory. On the first evening, there was a trip organized to Butetown History and Arts Centre. Co-founded by Dr. Glenn Jordan and Professor Chris Weedon, who had given the opening lecture and helped organize the conference, the centre attempts to give voice to the marginalized histories of Cardiff’s dock-workers. Butetown, also known as Tiger Bay, has been home to immigrant populations in Cardiff for over one hundred years, and subject to numerous regeneration projects. It is a neighbourhood whose residents understand only to well the subjective memory of accepted history and the relevance of lived experience in contextualizing such official accounts. As part of a continuing project to engage with the community, the centre houses a repository of over 450 hours of oral history and 3,000 photographs collected over the past twenty years.

Each day, plenary lectures, such as the one on Butetown, were delivered by speakers well respected in their individual fields. Conference attendees came from a variety of disciplines: sociology, literature, history, and media studies to name a few. This provided an opportunity for a wide-range of viewpoints to converge on a single topic.

Presentations ranged from themes of war and power narratives to the use of memory in popular culture and literature. This provided an opportunity to re-contextualize my own research, grounded as it is in design practice, and encouraged dialogue between fields that may not otherwise overlap. My own paper, entitled ‘Subjectivity of Memory in Childhood Graphic Memoirs’, situated on a panel entitled Literatures of Identity and Self, was well received and generated useful discussion and feedback.

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Round up!

Now that the exhibition is up and running, I can breathe a bit and tick a few more things off the ole to-do list.

Firstly, I am very proud that TYCI let me make one of the posters for their awesome monthly events at Bloc.

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This one was a lot of fun. I’ve had the main image kicking around for a while, but it didn’t really fit with any of the acts we’ve put on recently. But I thought an electro pop trip-hop set would be a very good opportunity to put it into use!

And now for something completely different, here’s the poster for our next Pop!South show: One Happy Island (USA) with the Wendy Darlings (FRA) and Dora Maar (EDI).

one happy island-web

I’ve also been making the bouquets for my soon to be sister-in-law’s wedding at the end of this week. So here’s how to turn Jane Eyre into flowers in a few easy steps!

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Last but certainly not least, I’m just now finishing the final edits to my first academic journal article, so hopefully I’ll be able to share more info on that in the near future!

Exhibition is up!

A huge thank you to everyone who came out to the opening last night! It was an awesome time had by all. Gill from TGC said some lovely things about the night, which is always great to hear. Here’s a shot of the set-up right before we opened the doors and I performed my comic.

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The exhibition is up all month, so if you didn’t get down last night, hopefully you’ll get a chance to pop down and see it in the coming weeks. I also created a behance project with images from the exhibition, for anyone who may not be able to see the show in person but is wanting to get a closer look.

Thanks again for all the support and making the opening night a success!

Drawing Out Memory

I’m very excited to say that I’m going to have some of my creative practice work from my PhD up in the Glad Cafe during the month of April. I’m hard at work right now finishing up pieces and prepping everything.

I’m also finalizing the line-up for a gig that will coincide with the opening, a bit of a variety show with all the acts tying in with my work in some respect. I should have more news on that in the coming days!

Drawing Out Memory exhibition-web

Completely random thought

Which may have no use ever, but may, so I am recording it, because what else is a blog for?

This morning my husband and I were discussing reading plays. He is dyslexic, and I have an interest in how he and his wonderful brain approach reading, as it is entirely differently from me. I know his eyes dart around the page and have a tendency to skip ahead without his brain registering it, making it hard for him to back up and find his place.

This seemed to tie into two concepts I have read about recently, one being the use of visual memory in reading, as mentioned by Christian Vandendorpe in his chapter ‘Reading on Screen: The New Media Sphere’ in the A Companion to Digital Literary Studies. Vandendorpe is talking about visual memory of loci within a codex book, and how remediating the text to a digital device removes the ability to associate a physical location in the book with a piece of the text, but I wondered if a similar concept of visual memory was at work with my husband’s brain and reading.

I was also reminded of ‘Is There a Text on This Screen? Reading in an Era of Hypertextuality’ by Bertrand Gervais, in the same book, in which Gervais speaks of how there are certain generic markers we perceive in text and that informs our brain on how we approach the words we then interact with. We consume newspaper articles differently than novels, for example.

Which brought me to typography. We do not set large sections of type in all caps because the eye perceives words in all caps as monolithic blocks, whereas words that contain lowercase letters have perceptible shapes, which allow our eyes to discern the letter-forms even without perhaps literally reading every single letter contained therein.

Do the specifics of formatting a play for codex book reading give the left-hand rag a series of anchors for my husband’s visual memory that large blocks of prose text does not? Are dense prose paragraphs the equivalent of all caps to his brain, whereas the jagged indents of a play allow for his mind to recall its spot more readily? It’s just a thought, and I should probably do more reading of Proust and the Squid to find out more about dyslexic brains, but I couldn’t help but draw those comparisons…

Laydeez Do Comics talk round-up

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who attended the Inaugural Laydeez Do Comics Glasgow event, it was a lot of fun. I met some lovely people, a couple of whom I had never met properly, although I vaguely knew them/of them from general comics-ness. Fittingly, for a comics forum, there was some drawn documentation of the night, which I have to preserve for posterity:

First there is the official LDC guest-bloger, Heather Middleton’s

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And attendee Jules Valera also live sketched on the night!

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I’m very much looking forward to the next event in May, especially the part where I get to stay in the audience!

Pop!South is #1

Another wee note to say that our event this weekend was listed as the #1 event this weekend in the Skinny! It’s almost like we’re legitimate or something ;) And I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on the PDF I made for the event as well. Getting pretty excited for this weekend, and I’ve been running through my talk for Monday’s Laydeez Do Comics a lot as well. Life is exciting and good.

Moving over

If you look up at the address bar, you may notice that we’re now at my new name domain! There may be a few bugs while everything is moving over, so please let me know if you encounter any gremlins.

In not quite Pop!South news, I have been hinting at another possible February event elsewhere, and now I can happily announce that Model Village will be playing with Bodyheat and Yakuri Cable on Feb 19th. In a funny confluence of events, we’re not actually promoting it, but I did the poster, and there are Pop!Southers in each of the supporting bands, so it’s almost a Pop!South event! The poster is below:

Model Village-web

Happy New Year!!

I hope the holiday season was good to everyone. I’ve got some news for the start of 2014. There’s a lot happening next month, for starters.

I’m terribly excited an honored to be asked to speak at the inaugural Laydeez Do Comics Glasgow, happening at the Pearce Institute in Govan on Monday Feb 10 from 6.30-9.00pm. The poster is being created as I type, by the wonderful Heather Middleton, and I’ll post it once it’s done.

[Edit: here it is! She did an awesome job adapting my map comic]

LDC flyer small

Speaking of posters, behold the beauty of the Pop!South All Day-and-a-half-er poster.

Day and a halfer-web

They should be popping up around town by the end of the week.

We may have more gig news to announce soon too. Exciting!

You might have noticed some changes

There’s a new header, a new about, and you may have come here from another URL. I only went and got married last month! I put an awful lot of time and effort into it, as you can see from my Behance Gallery, and I wrote up a bit about it (with more pictures!) over at TYCI.

In PhD news, I am currently writing my first academic journal article, which should be out sometime in 2014.

Music-wise, Pop!South has just announced the All day-and-a-half-er we are putting on in Feb.

Lots of excitement in the months to come!

Things I’ve been enjoying

Our last gig of the year has just been and gone. I’m getting married in less than two weeks. There will be many photos of projects to show in a few weeks time. But for now, here are some things I’ve been liking to look at. I seem to be really enjoying photography that evoke a certain mood at the moment. It may not be as specific to my work as normal, but it’s good to have a bit of a palate cleanse now and again.

From Marion Berrin’s Suburban War

From Marion Berrin’s Back To The Square


From Brendan Austin’s Crescendo

Maybe it’s just been far too long since I’ve seen stars like this