Erika Larsson about her post-doctoral research
As a postdoc, I participate in the research project Interwar Lens Cultures, which is a collaboration between Valand Academy (GU), Institute for cultural Sciences (GU) and Hasselblad Foundation. The aim of this project is to revisit and rethink the practices and meanings of lens based visual cultures in the Interwar years through a focus on hitherto under-researched connections between photography and film in Sweden and beyond.
In my part of this research project I approach this period in history through contemporary works that relate in different ways to this history as well as through my own engagements with material from this time. The working title for my part of the project is Feeling the Past as my focus lies on affective, emotional, and embodied engagements with historical material. Through such a perspective, I look at the research of racial biology through works by Katarina Pirak Sikku and Marjo Levlin, as well as through my own visits to the archive of racial biology in Uppsala. Through works by Lina Selander as well as archival material of private albums I also look at how notions connected to National Socialism relates to everyday life. Additionally, I engage with material from the archive of Natural History in relation to works by contemporary artists that in one way or another bring out the interconnection between natural history and political and cultural attitudes.
In all cases, the affective, emotional, and embodied engagements with historical material is seen as a way in to approaching aspects of this time in history that are otherwise unavailable, as wells as to make cultural parallels between the interwar period and the present.