The Babe Project intends to contribute to the history of European subjectivies by studying transcultural memory and processes of identity formation, engaging both native-born and ‘new’ Europeans. One of the assumptions on which the project is based is that contemporary movements of bodies across European borders give rise to forms of memory which are not only imbued by various cultures but incorporate within them an archive about their relations in the past.
In this perspective, the redefinition of the time-space nexus represents a central feature of the politics of memory. In engaging with mobile ‘bodies across borders’, our effort will be to envision memory in transnational and transterritorial terms. By engaging with individual biographies and itineraries, in the frame of wider historical geographies and political economies of mobility towards and within Europe, we will seek connections across time and space. The research will aim at going beyond national and European boundaries, and at establishing comparisons spanning different time periods, with particular reference to the history of European colonialism and European identity.
Looking at the constellation connecting memory, visuality and mobility to study socio-cultural relationships in a historical perspective we consider:
transcultural and diasporic memory as methodological and theoretical tools, able to set up innovative approaches by taking into account various forms of dislocation as an intrinsic feature of memory processes.
visuality as the battlefield shaping the relationship between the movement of bodies and their spatial and subjective representations, which points to the link between subjectivities and a plurality of forms of visuality.
mobility as an experiential and embodied process foregrounded on a multiplicity of heterogeneous micro-productions of mobility, whether ‘real’ or imagined/envisioned.
Practices across borders represent also a central focus in terms of the exploration of new research procedures. In this sense, the main aim the project is not only to establish cross- and transdisciplinary approaches to the connection between memory, mobility ad visuality, but also to situate them in the context of the relationship between oral history, anthropology, visual studies and geography, as well as between various fields of knowledge such as academic/critical research, school and community based settings, and the contemporary arts.