How colonial, imperial, militarized and state violence are remembered and memorialized—through, for example, memorials, museums, archives, performances, and art installations—are sites of constant contestation and anxiety. Questions of who and what gets remembered or forgotten, whose loss mourned and grieved, and how, what kinds of memorialization processes are assigned cultural value and how others are made absent, are shaped by racially gendered histories, ideologies, subjectivities and imaginaries. They also emerge within and are shaped by–sometimes in resistance to–transnational relations, discourses, ideologies, market flows, border controls, migration patterns, legal frameworks, media culture and more. Invoking a broad, critical and intersectional understanding of the transnational that attends to the particularities of place-based struggles and difference experiences as the grounds from which to explore connections, similarities and coalitional possibilities within, across and through borders and contexts, this project centrally asks what a transnational feminist lens might reveal about the space of remembrance and memorialization. Simultaneously, it seeks to explore what the lens of memory and memorialization may conversely illuminate about our transnational feminist engagements, scholarly, artistic, activist and otherwise.
This project was born out of The Inhabitance of Loss, a research project conducted by Alison Crosby and Malathi de Alwis (funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant). Through in-depth fieldwork, arts-based practices and methodologies, and community engagement, this five-year project (2014-19) examined survivor-led initiatives to memorialize loss in the aftermath of violence in Guatemala and Sri Lanka. Crosby and de Alwis sought to put their findings into conversation with other memorialization practices, to expand the scope and depth of transnational feminist praxis and collaboration. Extended conversations, collaborations and a reading group in Toronto, Canada led to the formation of the Research Team and the rest, as they say, is history.
Through Remembering and Memorializing Violence: Transnational Feminist Dialogues, we seek to foster critical dialogue, collaboration and research innovation in feminist memory studies, and to generate space for thinking about the role of transnationality in it all. We invite you to participate in these conversations and to join us in developing this emerging field of transnational feminist memorialization.
The Remembering and Memorializing Violence: Transnational Feminist Dialogues project is housed at the Centre for Feminist Research (CFR), York University. The workshop will be jointly hosted by CFR and the Department of Equity Studies at the University of Toronto.
We are grateful for the generous support of our funders. The project is supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
At York University, the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies Research Events Fund; the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation Scholarly Events & Outreach Activities Fund; Professor Carmela Murdocca, York Research Chair in Reparative and Racial Justice; and the Centre for Feminist Research have contributed to the workshop and to this website.