Activism & Research
Alda Terracciano’s interest in participatory research dates back to her PhD in Theatre History, which she defended in 2002 with the thesis Crossing Lines: an Analysis of Integration and Separatism within Black Theatre in Britain, at the Università di Napoli “L’Orientale” in collaboration with Middlesex University, London. During that time she campaigned for research and study of black and Asian history in the UK and co-founded Future Histories, the first independent archive of African, Asian and Caribbean performing arts in the UK with the aim of overcoming the state of invisibility of black arts within the mainstream heritage sector and stimulating creative engagement with archival material. She conceived and delivered a series of ground-breaking heritage project with support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts council England and others. Her voluntary contribution to the development of the organisation went hand in hand with research in the heritage field to widen and deepen the impact of her work within the sector. Since then, she has been interested in the emergence of the archive as a key concept and object of critical heritage studies, exploring its impact on the formation and articulation of individual and collective identities, memories, cultural values and power relations, as reported by Dr Andrew Flinn in his article on archival activism and independent and community-led archives: “So I realised that actually to decide to gather information, organise information, and preserve information to disseminate it was a political act” (interview with Alda Terracciano, 2009).
Using a Participatory Research methodology to explore the impact of gentrification on culturally diverse heritage, in 2012 she devised a series of Memory Sessions, employing analogue and digital systems to elicit people’s responses and creative contributions to her artistic research. This is based on an ethical approach that values autonomy, identity and ownership as key elements in the engagement of local communities.
In 2022 Alda Terracciano completed a two years Research Fellowship for Co-POWeR at the University of Sussex working alongside Prof Raminder Kaur and other BAME female professors to research the impact of COVID-19 and discrimination on BAME families and communities through creative methods, including theatre and graphic arts. She is currently working at the UCL Department of Information Studies as Participatory Design and Community Engagement Consultant for the Sloane Lab (AHRC TaNC Programme), and is Co-Leader of the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies (CCHS), a collaboration between UCL and Gothenburg University. And is also Fellow of Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre where she has been commissioned to produce moving image and drama.
2019 Long Table conversation on “Urban Regeneration, Intangible Heritage & Participatory Practices” to enquire the realities of urban regeneration for local communities in London. The activity was part of the Centre for Critical Heritage Studies (CCHS) Heritage Week, UCL, 27 March.
2018 Latin American Memory Routes an engagement programme in collaboration with Prof Muki Haklai from UCL Geography department, Mapping for Change, and the community centre Pueblito Paisa to explore Latin American cultural memories in and around the Seven Sisters Latin American market. The activity was funded by UCL Centre for Critical Heritage Studies (CCHS) and Great Challenge of Transformative Technology (GCTT).
2015 Co-convenor with Andrew Flinn (UCL) and Astrid Von Rosen (University of Gothenburg) of the Symposium “Archives, Art and Activism: Exploring Critical Heritage Approaches to Global Societal Challenges”, UCL, 3 – 5 Sept.
Chapters in Books
2020 “Mapping Memory Routes – a Multisensory Digital Approach to Art, Migration and Critical Heritage Studies,” in Migration and Stereotypes in Performance and Culture, edited by Dean, D., Vesselova, N., McNeil, D., and Meerzon, Y. London: Palgrave.
2020 “Intangible Heritage and the Built Environment: Using Multisensory Digital Interfaces to Map Migrants Memories,” in Diasporic, Migrant and Multicultural Heritage (Key Issues in Cultural Heritage), edited by Dellios, A., and Henrich, E. London: Routledge.
2018 “Future Histories: An Activist Practice of Archiving,” in Popular Postcolonialisms: Discourses of Empire and Popular Culture, edited by Atia N. & Houlden K. London: Routledge, ISBN-10:1138125059
2017 “Streets of…: A multi-sensory experience of 7 cities in 7 minutes,” in Memories of a City, edited by Westin J. & Holmberg I. M. Gothenburg: University of Gothenburg, ISBN: 978-91-88101-03-7
2011 “Trans-national politics and cultural practices of the Trading Faces online exhibition,” in Black arts in Britain: Literary, Visual, Performative, edited by Annalisa Oboe and Francesca Giommi. Roma: Aracne, ISBN/EAN: 9788854844247
2006 “The Black Theatre Forum and the Experiments of the Black Theatre Seasons,” in Alternatives Within the Mainstream: British Black and Asian Theatre, edited by Dimple Godiwala. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, ISBN10 1904303668
2006 Terracciano, A., and Kaur, R. “South Asian / BrAsian Performing Arts,” in A Postcolonial People: South Asians in Britain, edited by Ali, N. Kalra, V. and Sayyid, S. London: C. Hurst & Co, ISBN 10: 1850657971
Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals
2020 “Installation Art and the Issue of Gentrification: Exploring the Expanded Scenography of Zelige Door on Golborne Road,” in Journal of Art History, Routledge. DOI: 10.1080/00233609.2020.1808698
2020 “Hybridity in the Utopian City: A multisensory performance practice in action,” in Performance Research, On Hibridity, 25: 4, pp. 54-55. Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.1080/13528165.2020.1842031.
2018 “The Trading Faces Online Exhibition and its Strategies of Public Engagement”, in HUMAN IT: Nordic Digital Humanities: Resources and Practices. Vol 14, No 2: Nordic Digital Resources and Practices, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden, ISSN 1402-151X.
2017 “7 Cities in 7 Minutes: A Feminine Paradigm of Sensory Art”. Body, Space & Technology Journal, London: Brunel University, 02 Papers 16. http://people.brunel.ac.uk/bst/vol16/
1999 “Ubu in Sud-Africa.” Lo Straniero, Rome, Winter.
1997 “Il Teatro black. L’Esperimento del Tara Arts Group.” Drammaturgia, Vol. IV.
Published Conference Proceedings
2019 “Mapping Memory Routes. A Multisensory Approach to Migration Heritage and Urban Studies” in P. Brunnström & R. Claesson: Creating the City. Identity, Memory and Participation. Proceedings from the conference Creating the City. Identity Memory and Participation, pages 538-547, Malmö University, Sweden, 9-10 February, 2017, ISSN: 1654-6881, DOI https://doi.org/10.24834/2043/28212.
2019 “Curating the Archive – a Critical Approach to Archiving Theatre History”, in Freeze! Challenge the Hierarchy: Researcher, Artist, User! Proceedings of SIBMAS 2016, University of Copenhagen.
2018 “Zelige Door on Golborne Road: Exploring the Design of a Multisensory Interface for Arts, Migration and Critical Heritage Studies” in E. Mäkelä & M. Tolonen: DHN2018 – an Analysis of a Digital Humanities Conference. Proceedings of Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries 3rd Conference, Helsinki, Finland, March 7-9, 2018, EID: 2-s2.0-85045342526 (awarded Best Paper).
2017 Terracciano, A., Dima M., Carulli M., Bordegoni M., “Mapping Memory Routes: a Multisensory Interface for Sensorial Urbanism and Critical Heritage Studies”, in CHI EA ’17: Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pages 353-356, Denver, Colorado, USA, May 06 – 11, 2017, ISBN: 978-1-4503-4656-6 DOI 10.1145/3027063.3052958
Select keynotes, conference papers, lectures and interactive presentations
- Invited speaker at UCL IAS Festival “Alternative Epistemologies for Critical Heritage Studies”.
- Invited speaker at UCL IAS Festival “Making (in) the Digital Humanities”
- Paper “Intangible Heritage and the Built Environment: Using Multisensory Digital Interfaces to Map Migrants Memories”, ACHS 2020 Conference, UCL, London, 26-30 August 2020.
- Terracciano, A., Haklay, M., “Dig Where You Stand: Participatory Heritage Practices and Community Memories at the Latin Village Market”, ACHS 2020 Conference, UCL, London, 26-30 August 2020.
- Paper “Geographies of Information: Oral Histories and the Digital Interface”, DRHA 2020, Situating Digital Curation Conference, University of Salford, 7-9 September 2020.
- Terracciano, A., Haklay, M., “Participatory Heritage Practices and Community Memories at the Latin Village Market”, Performance, Embodiment and the Digital Archive: Collaborative Research in Sites of Conflict Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, October 2020.
- Paper “Mapping Memory Routes of Moroccan Communities”, Public History Conference, UCL, 17 September
- Paper “Place-making, Community Memories and Immersive Technologies in the multisensory installation and live art event Zelige Door on Golborne Road, IFTR 2019 annual conference, Shanghai, 7-12 July.2018
- Paper “Memory Routes: People’s voices, Migration and Intangible heritage”, NORDIK XII Art History Conference, Copenhagen, 25-27 October.
- Paper “Mapping Memory Routes: a Multisensory Interface for Sensorial Urbanism and Heritage Studies”, British Sociological Association (BSA) annual conference, University of Newcastle, 10-12 April.
- Paper “The Trading Faces online exhibition and its strategies of public engagement”, On Whose Terms? Ten Years On… conference, Goldsmiths, University of London, 22 -23 March.
- Paper “Zelige Door on Golborne Road: Exploring the Design of a Multisensory Interface for Arts, Migration and Critical Heritage Studies”, Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries (DHN), University of Helsinki, 7-9 March (Awarded Best Paper).
- Keynote lecture “The Artist in the Midst: Challenges and Opportunities in the Co-production of Multiple Cultural Heritages”, Digikult – Digital Culture and Practice annual conference, Gothenburg, 29-30 March.
- Installation “Zelige Door on Golborne Road” at: CHI 2017 Interactivity’s Demonstrations, Denver, CO, 6-11 May; and VRST 2017 (23rd ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology), VR/AR Demos, Chalmers University of Technology, 8-10 November.
- Co-arranged panel with Astrid von Rosen on Multisensorial Heritage and digital interfaces; paper “Mapping Memory Routes – A case study of Multisensory heritage, Migration studies and digital arts”, GPS400 – Gothenburg Cultures on the Town 1621 – 2021 conference, University of Gothenburg, 9-10 November.
- Paper “Mapping Memory Routes – a Multisensory Approach to Art, Migration and Critical Heritage Studies”, AHRC Heritage Priority Area Conference – Heritage Studies: Critical Approaches and New Directions, UCL, 4-5 October.
- Multi-media paper Streets of… 7 cities in 7 minutes, OverFlow PSi#23 – Performance Studies International Annual conference, Hamburg, 8-11 June.
- Video paper ”Mapping Memory Routes – a Multisensory Approach to Art, Migration and Critical Heritage Studies”, May Meeting, Centre for Global Heritage and Development and National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden University, 12-13 May.
- Paper “Mapping Memory Routes – a Multisensory Approach to Art, Migration and Critical Heritage Studies”, Migration | Representation | Stereotypes, University of Ottawa, Carleton University, 28-30 April.
- Paper “The Trading Faces Online Exhibition and its Strategies of Public Engagement”, Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries (DHN), University of Gothenburg, 14-16 March.
- Paper “Mapping Memory Routes – a Multisensory Approach to Critical Heritage Studies”, Creating the City: Identity, Memory and Participation, University of Malmo, 9-10 February.
- Workshop “Community Archives”, Connecting Community Archives – What Next? A one-day workshop, University of Edinburgh, 28 November.
- Invited workshop leader “Curating the Archive”, 31st Conference of the International Association of Libraries, Museums, Archives and Documentation Centres of the Performing Arts (SIBMAS) – University of Copenhagen, 31May – 3June.
- Workshop “A Design Strategy for Multisensory Experiences in Urban Ethnographic Research”, Computer Human Interaction (CHI) 2016 Workshop “Touch, Taste, & Smell User Interfaces: The Future of Multisensory Human Computer Interaction (HCI)”, San Jose, CA, 7-12 May.
- Paper “A Multisensory experience of 7 cities in 7 minutes”, Challenge the Past / Diversify the Future, University of Gothenburg, 19 – 21 March.