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Workshop 1

Silence

Workshop 1 was held in January 2012 with an emphasis on Silence. Discussions and activities were focussed around the following questions:

– How are our understanding of silences positive (silence as a mark of respect, of transition, of change, of spaces of thought and reflection) and sometimes negative (silence as a result of repressed stories, of trauma, of marginalisation)?

– How we might differentiate between ‘being silent’ and ‘being silenced’?

– How might silence reflect things taken for granted?

– Which silences are shared? What silences are negotiated? What silences are imposed? Which silences are related to different media within the museum – to texts, to objects, to digital technologies, or to events, to bodies/voices?

– How can we examine or record silence?

The day began with two framing papers from members of the network:

Rhiannon Mason (Newcastle University) presented a paper on different understandings and conceptualisations of silence, the handout for which can be downloaded here: Rhiannon Mason.

Kyoko Murukami (University of Bath) gave an account of her research into silence, the abstract for which can be found here: Kyoko Murakami.

In the afternoon, a practical session led by Anna Farthing (Harvest, Heritage Arts and Media) introduced members of the network to different experiences of silence and being silenced, and gave an overview of her research and research methods in this area.

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