February 11: Microhistories - lectures and film programme at Konstfack and IASPIS

Welcome to IASPIS for a full-day seminar in collaboration with Konstfack and the interdisciplinary research project Microhistories.

When: February 11, 2014, 10.00 - 17.00 

Location: The cinema, Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Language: English

Video essays have the ability to capture details or phenomena and show how they relate to a larger context. This orientation is shared by the discipline of scientific historiography called microhistory. Just like the filmic essay, the discipline studies habits and routines rather than deliberate acts: an interest in underlying mentalities rather than expressed conceptions.

 Artists, theoreticians and historians who work with microhistorical issues participate in the seminar. Film screenings, discussions and lectures will explore the exception rather than the rule, including everyday, overlooked details – which may turn out to be as important as the “grand” established history.

The film programme gathers works that relate to microhistory, in which the positions of the text and the narrator play decisive roles.

10.00 – 10.15 Brief introduction by Magnus Bärtås, visual artist and writer (Watch the film here)

10.15 – 10.45 “Ginzburg as essayist” – lecture by Andrej Slávik, historian (Watch the film here)

11.00 – 12.00 Film programme, part 1
Cacheau by Filipa César
Dad’s Stick by John Smith
Off-white Tulips by Aykan Safoğlu
Les mains négatifs by Marguerite Duras      

13.00 – 14.45 Film programme, part 2 (Watch the intro here)
Branden by Staffan Lamm – with an introduction by Staffan Lamm
In the Year of the Quiet Sun by The Otolith Group 
Jag drömde om att flyga flera kilometer med skidorna by Cecilia Nygren

15.15 – 15.45 “Micro narrativity in the Iranian context”, lecture by Behzad Khosravi Noori, visual artist (Watch the film here)

15.45 – 16.15 Reading Salinger in Teheran by Pirooz Kalantari, film-maker

16.15 – 17.00 Discussion with Pirooz Kalantari and Cecilia Nygren (Watch the film here)

On Andrej Slávik’s lecture
Microhistory, as a distinct approach to scientific historiography, grew out of wider post-war concerns about the failings of Western modernity while also contributing to the overarching project of a “history from below”. Spearheaded by a group of Italian historians, it gained momentum during the ‘70s and received its international breakthrough in 1980, when Carlo Ginzburg’s The Cheese and the Worms was first translated into English. The book has since appeared in over two dozen languages, making microhistory – or at least Ginzburg’s take on it – a truly global academic phenomenon. In his lecture, Andrej Slávik will discuss a few aspects of Ginzburg’s writings that are relevant to the Microhistories project, with the essay as a common focus.

The project Microhistories includes Magnus Bärtås, visual artist and writer, Mika Hannula, curator and theoretician, Suzana Milevska, curator and theoretician, Behzad Khosravi Noori, visual artist, Lina Selander, visual artist, Lena Séraphin, visual artist, Andrej Slávik, historian, Lars-Henrik Ståhl, architect and theoretician, and Michelle Teran, visual artist.