Sjamme van de Voort

Sjamme van de Voort is a memory studies scholar, born in the Netherlands, grown up in a forest in Denmark, who over the last decade has been taking his work from Denmark, through the US, Cuba, the UK to Sweden. Trained as a historian (Aarhus University, BA 2011 & MA 2015), he is currently working on a PhD project at the Centre for Research on Cuba at the University of Nottingham (2015-). In this work, he investigates the cultural memory that provides the mnemonic framework for Cuban-American population of Miami Dade County, aiming at developing a methodological approach to engage with diaspora memories in order to understand perceptions of the future.

He has taught courses on memory studies and approaches to traumatic memories at BA and MA level at universities in Denmark and Sweden. Besides academia, Sjamme has worked as a political risk analyst with a focus on the Caribbean, while also providing expert knowledge to human rights organisations working in countries related to his specialism. Since he became a partner in The Imaginary Agency, a platform established by Moniek Driesse, these interests and expertises became an integrated fixture of the ongoing exploration of the relations between cultural memory, human rights and environmental justice. The most recent exploration of Sjamme’s work within The Imaginary Agency is the current establishment of a cultural exchange project with established Danish and Cuban hip-hop artists, including students from Silkeborg Højskole.

Moniek Driesse

Moniek Driesse is a design researcher, who was born in a tiny village in the Netherlands, but has been wandering through the megalopolis Mexico City for quite some years, before moving to Sweden. Trained as a designer (Design Academy Eindhoven, ba 2007) and architect (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, ma 2013), she is currently working on a PhD project at the Department of Conservation of the University of Gothenburg (2017-). This research is carried out within the framework of the CHEurope Research School, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Program focused on Critical Heritage Studies and the Future of Europe and embedded in the Curating the City work cluster.

Besides academia, Moniek established The Imaginary Agency as a platform to explore the subjective nature of human experience in order to understand it in its context and to promote socio-cultural change through the agency of imaginaries. In situated flux, she has collaborated with fellow professionals, foundations, cultural institutions, universities, and, most of all, inhabitants, working on diverse projects focused on public space in vulnerable urban areas (mostly in the Netherlands and Latin America) and the development of tools for dialogue and knowledge exchange. Memory studies scholar Sjamme van de Voort has recently become a partner in the Agency. Moniek and Sjamme will continue to explore the relation between cultural memory, human rights and environmental justice, through the analysis and interweaving of various modes of knowledge production and diverse creative practices.