Recall the river: Water is an Archive | Ifor Duncan and Emilie Glazer
Fri 18 August 2023
A lake and its material traces: phytoplankton and algae by microscope. Image by Emilie Glazer.
Recall a body of water where you bathe, or where you swim, or where you dip your feet to cool down. What stories does it tell? What histories does it know? What does it forget? What memories does it undo? What other stories than yours does it hold? What or whose name does it have? What if water is an archive of the past, present, and future?
In this workshop we will explore how water can act as an archive across its ocean, river, reservoir, karstic, and airborne forms. Drawing from works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction; from our own research, and from personal experiences, we will navigate the possibilities of water, its properties and interactions, outside of a land or bureaucratic-based understanding of the archival to consider its own way of dynamically holding, and transporting, contents, histories, and memories.
We invite participants to think about water archives with us, through thought experiments, writing exercises, and conversation. We will collectively imagine the material traces and stories that water bears and the local acts of placemaking it engenders. And ask what does it mean for water to be archival? If water is an archive, who is it an archive for?
Ifor Duncan is a writer, artist and inter-disciplinary researcher who focuses on political violence and watery ecosystems. He is Lecturer in Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, and a postdoctoral fellow in Environmental Humanities at NICHE, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Ifor holds a PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, entitled Hydrology of the Powerless and is developing a book project Necro-Hydrology, a concept which exists where the knowledge and corresponding management of water in all its forms is produced as adversarial to marginalised communities and positions human and environmental justice as always intrinsically connected. Ifor has also been a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art.
Emilie Glazer is an anthropologist whose research explores care, justice, and political violence in the context of the changing ecologies of the climate crisis. Her PhD, completed at UCL (University College London), investigates relations with water across the city of Jerusalem and beyond its borders, to trace where infrastructures intervene with memory, affect, bodies, and stories; with springs, spirits, and rain; and where care intertwines with the reproduction of violence and its refusal. Alongside academia, Emilie collaborates on interdisciplinary community and place-based projects, and works as a design researcher across digital health and public services. She currently teaches at UCL Anthropology.
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