Digital Memories and Trajectories in Southern Patagonia

This project combines digital innovation and insights from ethnographic and historical research to develop a mobile platform which will enable groups of resource-constrained indigenous peoples in Argentine Southern Patagonia to ‘reclaim’ and (digitally) repossess images of their ancestors currently held in metropolitan institutional repositories.

With escalator funding, the team developed a prototype digital platform to connect community members with ancestral images via their own digital devices. Geraldine travelled to Patagonia to hold workshops at Rio Gallegos UNPA campus with the local community to continue the process of co-design.  The workshops were very successful and generated further interest from the University of Magallaes and University of Rio Negro to deliver similar workshops.  On the trip they also visited institutions that held photo archives to collect content for the platform. The Institute of Patagonia advised that they have pictures in their archives which they would like to give back to the community; they feel that borders have divided the community for a long time and this will demonstrate reunification.  The sharing of the ‘state owned’ pictures is seen as somewhat historically political but not threatening and is considered a constructive step and a way of building a positive relationship with the state.

After these initial workshops, the platform was launched and there is feedback to be collected on the user experience and platform functionality. This will form part of a further bid.

Geraldine also obtained mobility funding to visit the Archives of the Berlin Ibero-American Institute to view images of Patagonian indigenous peoples in five different collections.