We have all probably had conversations with aged relatives and friends resulting in the oft repeated words “I remember when…”, spoken either as an illumination of the progress of the present in comparison to seeming simplicity of the past or a wistful longing for the past to be alive again in the midst of the present. Often focused on differences between generations and triggered by specific events and objects, there is an overpowering sense that things are not what they used to be. This can be a positive experience, for example, being impressed at technological progress, or conversely confusingly negative, for example, the sense of frustration with the same technology and a hankering for times when things were perceived to be much simpler and easier.
Nostalgia is an extremely powerful feeling; it can in equal measure lift us up, make us feel safe, create fond memories and/or it can bring us down, make us feel intensely isolated, lonely, left behind and depressed. There is nostalgia for things that are no longer with us and people who are no longer with us (individually and collectively). There is the sense that things that are out of place – and not only out of place but also out of time. It can be both missing things and the missing of things. Yet it can also be a real and quite intense force which forms the present and informs the future.
Our global inclusive interdisciplinary project will begin to map the boundaries of nostalgia, explore the parameters within which it takes place and tentatively assess the consequences for ways of thinking, living and feeling in the 21st century. Nostalgia is being approached as a multi-layered phenomenon which consequently requires multiple insights and perspectives from academic disciplines, professional practice, ngo and voluntary activities, artists, song writers, performers and anyone who engages with forms and varieties of nostalgia..
Nostalgia: 2nd Global Inclusive Interdisciplinary Project
Friday 12th March 2021 – Saturday 13th March 2021