Activating the Archive

Call for papers
EYE International Conference 2018
Activating the Archive
Audio-Visual Collections and Civic Engagement, Political Dissent and Societal Change

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
26 to 29 May 2018

Hosted by EYE Filmmuseum

Deadline for submissions: 15 December 2017

The 2017-2018 academic year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Master’s in Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image (P&P), a programme of the University of Amsterdam in collaboration with EYE Filmmuseum, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, the Living Media Arts foundation, and others. EYE teams up with the University of Amsterdam and Sound and Vision in organising a special edition of its annual International Conference, to celebrate this milestone.

The conference will serve as a platform for exchange on developments in the fields of audio-visual archiving and presentation. It will consider those developments among others – but not exclusively – from the perspective of those with a connection to the P&P programme. The conference will also be an occasion for P&P alumni to reconnect, and for students and staff of audio-visual archiving and curation programmes worldwide to get in touch and to reflect together on past and future endeavours.

The EYE International Conference 2018 will take place in Amsterdam, from Saturday 26 May to Tuesday 29 May 2018. Participants are also invited to two annual side events: the EYE Collection Day, on Saturday 26 May, and the Open House at the EYE Collection Centre, on Tuesday 29 May.

The conference will be devoted to the following topic:

Activating the Archive: Audio-Visual Collections and Civic Engagement, Political Dissent and Societal Change

We are pleased to announce the attendance of three keynote speakers:

  • Prof. dr Thomas Elsaesser (University of Amsterdam and Columbia University, NY)
  • Prof. dr Julia Noordegraaf (University of Amsterdam)
  • Prof. dr Faye Ginsburg (New York University)

In seeking conference submissions, the programme committee will be led by the following questions:

  • how can twenty-first century audio-visual collections be turned into truly communal resources, and be mobilised for the common good?
  • how can the training of (future) preservationists, curators and programmers contribute towards this goal?

Examples of possible topics are:

  • Agency and resistance in or through audio-visual archiving and the (re)use of archival collections
  • (Archival) moving images as a resource for citizen engagement and advocacy
  • Varieties of/models for archival activism
  • Cooperation and exchange between institutional archives and various groups of stakeholders and users (e.g. researchers, filmmakers, activists) and ways of fostering those
  • The growing significance of non-specialist (e.g. municipal) and informal archives and their specific ways of involving stakeholders
  • Varieties of/models for community archiving
  • Archives, museums and presentation platforms (e.g. festivals, video-sharing websites and online repositories) as facilitators of engagement

But also:

  • Discrimination, bias and inequality in archival and presentation practice, and ways of counteracting those
  • Threats to archival autonomy, and how to resist them
  • Conflicts of interest between archival stakeholders, and how to overcome them
  • The politics of open and linked data
  • The societal (e.g. environmental) implications of archival sustainability
  • DIY practice and (socio-economic/political) issues in archival labour
  • The legal (rights management) and ethical (privacy) implications of collecting and reusing audio-visual records of social movements and various forms of dissent

We will programme a combination of case studies (or best practice papers) and more critical (academic-style) contributions.
Please send proposals (max. 300 words) along with a short bio (max. 100 words) to, before 15 December.
Further practical information for attendees will follow in due course.

The conference programme committee:

Giovanna Fossati (EYE/UvA)
Anne Gant (EYE)
Eef Masson (UvA)
Patricia Pisters (UvA)
Gerdien Smit (EYE)
Erwin Verbruggen (Sound and Vision)