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Dance Community Archives and Digital Participation

Conference contribution
Authors Astrid von Rosen
Published in Prato Conference 2017. Art as Archive: Archive as Art & The Imagined Archive. 25-27 October 2017, Prato, Italy
Place of publication Prato
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Cultural Sciences
Language en
Keywords Multisensory heritage, dance archives, digital participation
Subject categories Performing Art Studies, Performing Arts, Art History


Despite the mass digitization projects underway in many countries, the politically charged problems associated with documenting, archiving, sharing and disseminating multisensory heritage and practices of memory – such as independent dance – are rarely considered on a governmental level. Such considerations are absent, for example, in the current Swedish bill on Cultural Heritage Politics (2017). Drawing on recent research at the University of Gothenburg, this paper reflects on politically charged issues pertaining to multisensory heritage and archival processes and practices in a digital age. More specifically, it explores participatory dimensions in a collaborative project, Dance Archives and Digital Participation, which aims to investigate the process by which an archival institution curates and digitally presents material from independent dance companies and individuals. The goal of the project is to help create innovative digital solutions for how dance, and in particular marginalized dance groups, can be better represented in and by archives. The project focuses on three thematic areas: (1) knowledge exchange and processes of building trust between archival institutions, cultural workers (i.e. dancers and dance groups) and researchers; (2) theoretical understanding of dance archives and archiving; and (3) theoretical/written recommendations for how a digital dance archive based on the principles of participation, accessibility and representativity can be structured. The paper seeks to offer a new vision of the multisensory archive, one that will benefit the dance community and potentially also the political sphere by contributing digital solutions combining diversity, spatiality and multisensory experiences.

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