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Call for presentations | Inward Outward Symposium: Critical Archival Engagements with Sounds and Films of Coloniality


Call for presentations

Inward Outward Symposium: Critical Archival Engagements with Sounds and Films of Coloniality
24 & 25 January 2020

The symposium Inward Outward investigates the status of moving image and sound archives as they intertwine with questions of coloniality, identity and race. Archives, assumed to be containers of memory, are vested with a particular power to constitute and define who is and who is not included in (his)stories. We explore what “decolonizing” the archive – within and beyond the walls of established institutions – could offer for the production of new bodies of knowledge.

Taking a critical archiving approach as its base, Inward Outward explores what is specific to moving image and sound materials, and the archival practices used to collect, preserve and make them accessible. The symposium questions the different processes involved in the creation, management and use of archives to unpack social and political configurations that are imbued with questions of power, violence, and representation. To this end, we invite participants across disciplines and professions to engage with audiovisual archives in a 2-day symposium. We believe that these forms of collaboration can render visible what usually remains hidden or obscured and further the agenda of creating more inclusive forms of knowledge production.

Organised by KITLV and Sound and Vision, two Dutch institutions that document and explore various histories, the symposium offers dedicated sessions focused on investigating coloniality, identity, memory and race. While the symposium broadly explores these themes in the context of sound and moving image collections across geographies, it also emphasises the position of Dutch identity in its various manifestations.

Below you can find some of the different formats we suggest as well as some relevant questions. These are not exhaustive and we invite presenters to engage with the topics creatively.

Suggested Formats*

  • Academic paper presentation: in the classical academic conference format; 20 minutes, excluding general Q&A.
  • Performative lectures: 20 minutes excluding time for general Q&A
  • Artistic interventions**: This could take different forms such as: audiovisual works like films, multimedia presentations and media art; poetry; dance performance, etc.
  • Workshops
  • Show-and-tell: short presentation that critically engages with a case study, artwork or an archival material, including but not limited to archival and institutional approaches, a historical document, short film, video, or photograph, etc. This format is geared towards a more open-ended discussion; max. 10 minutes (excl. Q&A and/or discussion).
  • Pre-formed panel: formed around a single, or similar research focus; consisting of 3-4 speakers; may include a moderator; max. 90 minutes, including Q&A and/or discussion.
  • Pre-formed roundtable discussion: formed around a single research focus, consisting of 3-4 speakers, responding to each other; may include a moderator; max. 60 minutes, including Q&A and/or discussion.

*The programme committee reserves the right to propose alternative formats to the proposed presentation format.
** The symposium is unable to provide funding for the production of works.


  • How do institutionalised archival practices uphold colonial, imperial, and/or racist practices and ideologies, and how can these by challenged?
  • What are the different practices and actors involved in the creation and management of archives (such as selection, cataloguing, access and de-acquisition), and how do they impact the framing, access and use of these materials?
  • What kinds of (new) models and methods exist that seek to question archival practices in an effort to “decolonize” the archive?
  • How can and should the concept of “ownership” be complicated in the context of archive materials that have been created under duress?
  • Why are creative and critical engagements with audiovisual archives lacking yet pressing?
  • How can creative professionals venture into the archive to critically engage with its structure and materials through artistic practice?
  • How must digital technologies be questioned and how can they be used in an effort to decolonize audiovisual archives?

Key Concepts
Audiovisual archives, Critical archival studies, Decolonize, Imperialism, History, Memory, Identity, Race, Racism, Ownership, Moving Image, Sound

Submission & Deadline Information
To submit a proposal, please send a single doc or docx file titled <YOUR SURNAME_InwardOutward2020> with a 300 word abstract and 50 word bio (per presenter) to [email protected] before 7 October, 10am CET.  

Practical Information

  • Inward Outward takes place on Friday, January 24 & Saturday January 25, 2020 at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Mediapark Boulevard 1, Hilversum)
  • Access is free of charge but due to limited capacity, registration is required
  • The symposium will not include any parallel sessions
  • All sessions will be in English

We look forward to receiving your presentation proposals, if you have questions please email us at [email protected]

Warm Regards,

The Inward Outward Programme Committee

Bas Agterberg (Sound and Vision)
Esther Captain (KITLV)
Alana Osbourne (KITLV)
Rachel Somers Miles (Sound and Vision)
Eleni Tzialli (Sound and Vision)

The Inward Outward symposium is organised by the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) & the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Sound and Vision), with the support of the RCMC (Research Center for Material Culture).



KITLV & Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
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Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Mediapark Boulevard 1
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