November 25

Stage 25 // O Cebreiro – Triacastela [20,8km]

Finally a day with around 20 kilometers only… the way is not flat, but still easy and, what is more important, beautiful. The Galician landscapes are great (image).

We are going to cross several tiny villages, typical of the North. Very few houses, disperse settlement and very nice and welcoming people.

Although the villages are really tiny, we will have the opportunity to find rest and eat very well. Nothing better that this sort of places for that!

9:00 GMT – Summer comes and summer goes: Anchoring movement through contemporary rock painting in an Australian seaside community

Ursula Frederick

The Nambucca Heads breakwater, colloquially known as the V-wall, is a vibrant place of activity. As a site of great natural beauty on the mid-east coast of Australia, it is popular amongst locals and regional visitors as well as interstate tourists and international travellers. Central to the movement of people is the seawall itself, which forms a corridor for daily walks and platform for rock fishing, as well as a place for sunbathing, cycling, surfing and swimming. The rhythms of daily routine, family road trips and annual holidays that draw people to this location are also reflected in the many acts of vernacular inscription and creativity that enliven its physical setting.

In this paper I discuss a three-year project undertaken to study the accumulation of contemporary rock paintings and altered surfaces that make up the Nambucca Heads V-wall. I explore the content and character of these expressions, and the motivations underpinning their production. The V-wall offers novel insights into contemporary practices of graffiti, particularly the role that unauthorised acts of inscription and creativity may play in the shaping of place and community. Rather than reinforce the common tropes of graffiti – as vandalism, juvenilia, rebellion and anti-social activity – the Nambucca Heads V-wall demonstrates how vernacular mark-making may also work to connect people from different places and build cohesion.

9:30 – Fences, Wraps and Oil Lamps: Examining the Materiality of Refuge in the Pitt Rivers archives

Hadiqa Khan

The museum is an interesting nexus through which one can examine displacement and refuge. Movement, a vital part of displacement, always leaves behind traces and museums have become important actors in the collection and display of these traces – especially in the last decade, following the increased world-wide attention (and debate) on refugees and immigrants. However, the materiality that refuge leaves behind does not exist in a vacuum; it is rich with life, history, stories, narratives – both personal and political.

Material objects and their acquisition into the museum tie individual and group narratives into wider longer term historical narratives of representation and power. The museum is a good fulcrum to understand these longer-term historical and material processes because museums are so clearly implicated in multiple phases of the representation of the people who come to be displaced – museums are implicated in the classification and categorisation of the colonial project, they helped enable and legitimise the objectification of the subjects of colonialism, but then later on they become key sites for representing the crises they helped to initiate. While these later/secondary representations are probably done in good faith to elicit understanding, sympathy and support, they also in some ways represent another colonial act as the museum takes on the role once again of representing the displaced communities. Objects of refuge and displacement in museums materialise this double coloniality.

Through examining objects of refuge and displacement in the Pitt Rivers archives, this paper will discuss the museum’s relationship with refuge, how it represents and engages with the materiality of displacement and the multitude of narratives that this engagement highlights, creates or does not acknowledge.

What kinds of materiality does movement (i.e. pilgrimage, migration, shepherding, travel, and daily movement) leave behind?

Can we trace the immaterial side of mobility through stories, music, or social change?

10:00 GMT – “Gifting” smartphones to homeless people: An assessment of theory and practice

David Lowis

As smartphone penetration in developed economies is moving in the direction of market maturity, smartphones are becoming a precondition for taking part in societal life. Some groups are in danger of being left behind as a result of being less able to gain and retain access to smartphones – and this includes homeless people. The very existence of a digital media access gap between housed and homeless populations is a difficult one to assess. In spite of disagreements in the literature, ethnographically, mobile phone distributions have become a commonplace “catch-all” solution to bridge the digital disconnect(s) which many homeless people experience. This assessment and simultaneous solution was aggravated during the Covid crisis. In this talk, I will try to assess mobile phone distributions through the lens of Marcel Mauss’ „The Gift”: How are smartphone distributions qualitatively different from other in-kind donations? And what are the obligations that come alongside this particular “gift”? As smartphone distributions proliferate, understanding what they “do” in the world, is impossible to ignore.

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