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Teaser, summary, work performed and final results

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VISMEM (Visualising memories of violence in urban places: gender and wellbeing in Istanbul)


Visual investigations of urban memory within cultural geography fall short in providing explanations for the personal and embodied nature of memory-place interactions. VISMEM project filled this gap by investigating the impact of place-based memories of ordinary violence among...


Visual investigations of urban memory within cultural geography fall short in providing explanations for the personal and embodied nature of memory-place interactions. VISMEM project filled this gap by investigating the impact of place-based memories of ordinary violence among diverse Istanbul residents for their current use and sense of wellbeing in urban space. It also had a strong methodological focus and interrogated the utility of visual methods for understanding that impact.
The project’s primary aim was to examine violence as a mode of doing, that is, as power to violate rather than as something that happens. To support this argument, it developed the notion of “ordinary violence” as a framework to map violent memories as extended human material embedded in bodies and im/mobilising them in particular ways in everyday life. Smartphone photography, walking and video editing were integrated as methods to draw connections between ordinary sites of violence and to examine where violence takes place and how it appears in Istanbul\'s hyper-polarised everyday settings and routines.Through its methodological and conceptual innovations, the project resulted in new knowledge that activates an embodied and situated understanding of ordinary violence and addresses the in/visible, non-/event dichotomies that permeate existing theories of violence.
VISMEM explored the nexus of memory-place-violence along three interrelated formulations. These formulations also correspond to the individual rationale of the project’s written deliverables;
The material, embodied extension of memories in residents\' conception of ordinary violence and related patterns of movement and belonging in the city;
The under-explored potential of visual methods, video in specific, as a means of interrogating memories;
The factors that influence individuals\' differential sense of violence.

Work performed

\"October - November 2016
— Training and dissemination partners: signed up Open Space, Marie Curie Alumni, Geography Matters, Urban Salon, Brilliant club, The Digital Participation stream of the Citizenship and Governance SRA, International Critical Geography Group membership
— Attended the Everyday citizenship workshop as part of the Celebrating Citizenship Studies at The Open University program,
— Attended the training workshop Academic Project Management and the \"\"Digital tools for managing online academic groups\"\" seminar at the OU
— Developed Career development action plan
— Designed pilot study
— Identified thematic threads for literature review

December 2016 - January 2017
— Carried on revising research questions, literature review
— Calculated budget estimates for each research activity, interacted with OU finance staff on project budget management specifics
— Received recommendations for equipment
— Looked for similar-scale project websites, blogs as part of her proposed dissemination strategy
— Identified a local organization to connect with in Istanbul for the pilot and afterwards
— Attended the Multimedia Storymaking Walk: Effective Research Communication workshop
— Attended the AEIM seminar, Module 1 to support developing the strategies and procedures on the ethical issues raised by the visual and walking methodology, context of the research
— The project pilot was set up (i.e. tools (methods) and equipment. Worked on the budget and logistics in Istanbul. Interacted with Gillian to refine the process
— Submitted the book chapter manuscript \"\"The affective territory of poetic graffiti from sidewalk to the networked image”
— Applied to ethics review

February 2017 — August 2018
— Prepared for pilot
—Obtained ethics clearance
— Pilot work in Istanbul
—Prepared for fieldwork
—Fieldwork in Istanbul

August 2018 - February 2018
— Processing and interpretation of data
— Produced the research video
—Submitted the first paper (obj.2)
—Drafted the second paper (obj 3)
—Applied to conferences

February 2018 — May 2018
— Took the online course: Managing people - Key processes 2017-18
— Attended the Moving Images/static spaces conference in Istanbul
— Revised and resubmitted ethics report
— Worked on the Agg Arch paper
— Attended the Aggressive Architectures conference
— Drafted a third journal publication on visualising memories (obj.1, in process)
— Designed a public workshop with Berlin partners (NomadicArt, ZKU)
— Submitted a proposal to the “Transforming Cities” to Georg Simmel Center, Berlin
— Gave a talk in the Digital Humanities Seminars of the Oxford Internet Institute

June 2018 — October 2018

— Attended the dcv workshop (SoGE) to present a paper on the project
— Worked on the ordinary violence paper revisions
— Held the NomadicArt workshops in Berlin
— Worked on the ERC application concept
— Held the Izmir workshop with Karakutu
--Held the War or Peace Festival workshop in Berlin
— Wrote the Life Under Construction paper (in process)
— Attended the RGS in Cardiff
— Attended Transforming Cities in Berlin
—Attended ASA in Oxford
— Submitted the ERC starting grant proposal
--Submitted the video output for peer review to Cultural Geographies (in process)

Final results

The project resulted in several conventional and innovative outputs including 3 journal articles, 1 peer-reviewed audio-visual publication and 5 public workshops. PI attended 4 international conferences and held 4 invited talks/screenings in Turkey, Israel and UK to present project results. She also attended several training programs to expand her networks and further develop skills specifically in digital scholarship and curating, open access publishing and project management. PI also collaborated with the local initiatives who are active in urban memory, youth and gender issues in Berlin and Istanbul. Through the knowledge exchange between these organisations and the project, VISMEM activities and deliverables gained higher visibility reaching approximately 8000 social media subscribers and attracting a total of 280 participants to the project’s public delivery in the form of “memory workshops”. These collaborations are active and ongoing with planning for future partnerships. Finally, VISMEM has led to the conception and development of a broader scale project proposal on the urban bases of political violence. Overall, the project was successful primarily in terms of its theoretical contributions to understanding violence and memories as place-based phenomena leading to differential experiences of fear, trauma, safety, and wellbeing for different individuals. Its use of visual methods and filmic interpretation are the main innovative and transferrable aspects. Its focus on methods also contributes to the gendered and bodily complexity of negotiating digital/visual research ethics by presenting an in-depth engagement with examples from an under-explored urban context.

Website & more info

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