Recording the Intangible: Approaches to the ethnographic archive
7th Apr 2020 9:30am-6:30pm
Please note that this event has been postponed in response to government advice about the coronavirus outbreak. We hope to rearrange it later in the year.
Venue: Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew London
This one-day workshop which will take place in the Economic Botany Collections at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew aims to bring together researchers from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to explore alternative theoretical and methodological approaches to working with ethnographic archives. The event will provide unique access to artefacts within the collection, which will be introduced by Kew Gardens curator Mark Nesbitt.
During the morning session participants will hear from leading anthropologist Professor Paul Basu of SOAS University of London about his current project ‘Re-entanglements’. Based on the UK AHRC funded ‘Museum Affordances’, this project re-engages with a remarkable ethnographic archive – including objects, photographs, sound recordings, botanical specimens, published work and fieldnotes – assembled by the colonial anthropologist, N. W. Thomas, in Southern Nigeria and Sierra Leone between 1909 and 1915. As well as better understanding the historical context in which these materials were gathered, the project seeks to re-think their significance in the present. What do they mean for different communities today? What actions do they make possible? How might we creatively explore their latent possibilities?
During the afternoon sessions participants will have the opportunity to respond to a selection of ethnobotanic artefacts as a group, with a discussion session on cross-disciplinary methodologies. This will be followed by an informal creative session led by a group of current practice-based PhD technē students whose projects use drawing, photography and videography to represent objects in their research. This class will introduce a range of different artistic and representative practices for recording and framing objects in the archive with the aim of inspiring innovative new perspectives across disciplinary boundaries.
09.30 - 10.00 Registration and coffee
10.00 - 11.15 Welcome and introduction to the collections by Mark Nesbitt
11.15 - 11.30 Coffee break
11.30 - 12.45 Professor Paul Basu on 'Re-entanglements'
12.45 - 13.45 Lunch break
13.45 - 14.45 Group discussion of select objects
14.45 - 15.00 Coffee break
15.00 - 17.00 Afternoon creative session
17.00- 18.30 Drinks
There are a very limited number of spaces for this event and booking will be mandatory. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite here.
For entry, you will be met at the Herbarium Gates (next to Elizabeth Gate) at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The nearest station is Kew Bridge (mainline train) or Kew Gardens (Overground and District line). Workshop will be held in the Banks Building.
For late arrivals telephone Lindsay Sekulowicz (07834415343).
The workshop will include coffee breaks, lunch and a wine reception for all attendees. Please let Chloe Osborne (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you have any dietary requirements.