Expansion and Diversity: Digitally mapping and exploring independent performance in Gothenburg 1965-2000

Research project

Short description

The project takes on the urgent challenge of accounting for diversity in late 20th century performing arts history. By mapping and analysing performing arts outside the institutions in Gothenburg 1965-2000 the project acknowledges a cultural heritage at risk of disappearing. Combining new information technologies with participatory approaches, urban sociology and humanistic research, the project creates inclusive ways of representing performing arts previously excluded from archives and history. Having funded digitization and accessibility of Gothenburg daily papers 1965-2000, the project opens up innovative research possibilities for changing the image of many diverse cultural histories and people. Collaborative partners are the National Library, the National Archives, the Gothenburg Museum as well as independent archives and agents.

The project aims to take on the urgent challenge of accounting for diversity in late 20th century performing arts history. Using among other materials data from digitized newspapers, we will explore the following research question: How can a more inclusive history of independent performance be created by combining historiographical and urban analysis with the capabilities of new information technologies? Drawing on previous research on independent performance in Gothenburg 1965–2000, the city will be used as a case study to investigate the unresolved historiographical problem of accounting for diversity within the expanded performance field.

During the project’s first year the National Library will digitize Gothenburg newspapers and an online database combining scholarly and digital expertise will be constructed. During the second year, we will digitally explore reviews and often devalued source materials such as adverts, captions and photographs, feeding new empirical results into the online database. For example, carnivals employing migrants, outreach performances for children, and queer events will be mapped. In the third year, with the completion of the online database and its accompanying studies, it will be possible to re-conceptualize how a very diverse performance heritage is historically and spatially represented. Consequently, new research questions as well as digital methods and models will emerge to help include and make accessible a cultural heritage engaging many different people.

Project members

Astrid von Rosen

Cecilia Lindhé

Helena Holgersson

Mikael Strömberg

Johan Åhlfeldt

Sandra Grehn

Ida Storm

Fia Adler Sandblad (associated scholar and och practitioner, outside the University of Gothenburg)

Rolf Sossna (representative for the Gothenburg Museum)

Hannane Nabavi (intern 2019–2020)