Issue 3 Disturbing Pasts: now also in print

disturbing past book cover

We are pleased to announce that Issue 3 of the Open Arts Journal has been developed for publication as a book.


Throughout the world, legacies of war, colonialism, genocide and oppression return again and again to dominate contemporary culture. In this major new anthology of material edited by Leon Wainwright, published this year by Manchester University Press, artists, curators and academics come together to explore how such legacies can inspire creative approaches to remembering and challenging the past.

Contributors begin with the idea that any meaningful encounter with the past has to be felt at a personal level, no matter how difficult an event may be to recall and represent. Recollecting stories of this kind is complex and sensitive, and the book demonstrates how the process can benefit from the joint efforts of people from different fields, including professional art practices, art history and visual culture studies, social anthropology, literary studies, history, museology and cultural policy studies.

The result is a detailed global picture that presents a variety of new approaches to confronting dominant historical narratives and shaping alternative interpretations. It gathers voices, histories and images from diverse contexts including South Africa, Germany, Namibia, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Australia.


Disturbing Pasts: Memories, Controversies and Creativity is the outcome of a Knowledge Transfer and Network Project, funded by the European Science Foundation through a partnership between the OU and the Weltmuseum Wien (Vienna). Read more about the project here.