European University Institute Bodies across borders: oral and visual memory in Europe and beyond
Bodies across borders: oral and visual memory in Europe and beyond
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Methodological Approaches

The main innovation proposed by the project is the exploration and analysis of the changes induced by global mobility into the production of visual memories of/in Europe, focusing on visual art production and on the traces of memories produced by mobile people (oral and visual interviews, maps, objects, drawings).
Individual and collective interviews are conducted by introducing a significant variation into the framework of the life-history interview, i.e. the requests for the drawing of an itinerary of the subject’s mobility. Another adaptation is represented by the ‘induced reception” of visual art works.
Visual works: The collection of data and documentation concerning artists’ visual works is aimed to disrupt the traditional distinction between primary and secondary sources. This perspective involves various types of data collection: individual and collective interviews with artists (defined as such either by critics and art institutions or by local communities), including both structured interviews and/or informal contacts and exchanges with curators, gallerists, art agents; direct and participant observation during exhibitions; archival and web-based research.
Another relevant methodological challenge is represented by the connections emerging from different fields of the research. All the visual and oral material produced will be filed at the Historical Archives of the European Union (EUI, Florence). The issue raised by the archival processing of the material collected resonates with the exploration of a wider meaning of “archive”, thematized by contemporary art practices and debates.
Internal seminars and individual exchanges with a group of scientific consultants in visual arts and ethnoanthropology support the work of the research team in establishing the analytical framework. Moreover, a series of workshops is aimed to set up a network of academic exchange with members of the scientific committee, scholars and researchers, in the field addressing mobility and visual studies.