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NWO KIEM Grant for LUCAS researchers

Together with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and creative partner Big Orange, Laura Bertens, Sara Polak, Yra van Dijk, and Thony Visser will investigate possible uses of the voice in cultural memory.

To do this, they have been awarded an NWO KIEM grant – a subsidy awarded specifically for academic research in collaboration with the public sector and creative industry partners.

Voices of Cultural Memory
The project “The Voices of Cultural Memory: Oral/Aural Storytelling in the Museum” will research how memories and stories of artists, museum employees, and visitors can play a role in museum exhibitions, mainly through innovative use of audio guides. The project will take place during the exhibition ‘I am a native foreigner’ which opens this summer.

Barbara Visser, Le monde appartient à ceux qui se lèvent tôt (2002)
Collectie Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

The human voice
Operating at the intersection of museum studies and cultural memory studies, the project investigates the role of the voice, and different forms of mediating the human voice through audioguides, in the production of cultural memory in the museum. The researchers will collate and synthesize existing case studies in which the voice is crucial in the construction and activation of memory communities in museum or art exhibition contexts. Furthermore, they will test various kinds of audioguides in the upcoming Stedelijk Museum exhibition I am a native foreigner: mono-aural vs. binaural/3D recordings; interactive and multilayered storytelling and visitor exchange, as well as live storytelling, in which the voice is heard directly, and the artist can be seen in a real-life performance.

Immersive experience
The use of technology in creating empathy and allowing visitors intimate participation in memory cultures of migration will help make the museum a space of societal inclusion. Using structured interviews with visitors, as well as the theoretical lens of cultural memory studies, the researchers will conceptualize how the voice can be employed in museum settings to offer an immersive experience that invokes and produces cultural memory and empathy in visitors.

The Creative industry - KIEM programme aims to encourage and facilitate public-private partnerships in the domain of the Creative industries. KIEM aims to promote and facilitate partnerships between knowledge institutions and private parties, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs). KIEM enables consortia (consisting of at least one researcher employed at a Dutch University and at least one private partner) to develop sustainable partnerships.

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