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17th December 2020 Rosa Chalfen (2019, English)

Exeter Fellow Nandini Das directs new research project, the TIDE salon

Rosa Chalfen (2019, English) discovers an exciting new installation launched by Fellow in English Professor Nandini Das and her research team. The installation explores travel, transculturality and identity in England in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Screenshot of the TIDE salon installation

The TIDE salon is an interactive installation you can explore online

Professor Nandini Das (Tutorial Fellow in English at Exeter College) and her research team based at Exeter have launched an exciting new digital installation – the TIDE salon. The installation is part of a European Research Council project that Professor Das directs, exploring travel, transculturality and identity in England (TIDE) in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The salon is a multimedia collaboration between the TIDE project and artists including internationally acclaimed novelist Preti Taneja, and spoken word artists and musicians, Zia Ahmed, Steven Savale, Sanah Ahsan, Shama Rahman, Ms. Mohammed and Sarathy Korwar. It looks to replicate the creative atmosphere of early modern European or Mughal salons, providing a creative atmosphere in which artists can explore concepts of alienation and foreignness that, having evolved in the 16th and 17th centuries, remain intensely relevant to the modern world.

Professor Das described the salon as ‘a place where different layers of source material mix and mingle, allowing visitors to hear new music, embark on a series of visual and textual discoveries, and gain behind-the-scenes access into the ideas and exchanges that produce creative work.’

Post-doctoral researcher Dr Lauren Working, who is involved with the project, noted its focus on ‘the process of doing history, our own biases and selectivity’, commenting that ‘it exposes people to how we think about the past.’

Dr Working also commented on the relevance of TIDE keywords, a subsection of the project which focuses on the use of words such as ‘alien’ and ‘foreigner’. The words were used as prompts for artists to create their own responses, drawing on their personal histories. ‘I don’t think we realised when we started the project how relevant these terms would seem. If anything these terms have seemed more and more political over the last three or four years.’

To explore the TIDE salon click here.

The TIDE project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 681884). TIDE Salon was produced with additional funding from the Humanities Cultural Programme and support from TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities).

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