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Professor Karen E. Till
Professor Karen Till, Department of Cultural Geography, Maynooth University, discussed memory, national identity, systemic violence and the possibilities of spatial justice in the cites of Berlin, Cape Town, Bogotá and Minneapolis. Drawing upon the work of activists and artists, such as Joseph Beuys, Till argues that to acknowledge the historic ‘wounds’ of the city enables the process of memory-work that is needed to create healthy places, citizens and states. Critical of current-day narratives of resilience, Till’s ethnographic research of field notes, interviews, archival texts, public art and maps advances a ‘place-based ethics of care’ that negotiate the contradictions and tensions of social trauma, memory-work and national identity existing in today’s modern cities.

Artists and Place: Susan Gogan and Beth O’Halloran
Artists Susan Gogan and Beth O’Halloran gave presentations about their work addressing the theme of ‘Artists and Place’.

The theme of the city of Berlin is a tentative thread that ran through these very different presentations reminding us of the need to hold in mind both the particularity and universality of our experiences of and relationships to place.

Part of Art | Memory | Place,  a year-long programme of talks and events taking place over the course of 2015-16 in the context of the ‘decade of centenaries.’ Focusing on artists whose work addresses themes relating to memory and place, the purpose of this programme is to broaden and deepen the current discussion about the subject of remembrance and commemoration and to take account of such work.