Atlas Everyday X

Ursula Frederick (Australia)

We have all seen the arrows, X’s, dots and dashes springing up at our feet. These X’s and other notations are cautionary signs intended to advise where we should and should not be. Besides their everyday aesthetics of simplicity and improvisation, their sheer proliferation is hard to miss. Like some strange local positioning system or mark of a new situational awareness that we all need to adopt. Over time, some of them peel away or wear off as if to suggest things might soon return to ‘normal’, whatever that was. One day they will be gone – but the uncertainty of when remains their persistent subtext.

Atlas Everyday X is a photographic project recording the everyday archaeological ephemera of the COVID experience through a focus on social distancing floor-marks. Reflecting on how our encounters are shaped by new negotiations around space and bodily engagement, it is also expected
to provide an opportunity for us to come together virtually and share our current experience. Part contemporary archaeology, part collaborative artwork, and part ongoing research into inscription practices, the Atlas invites us to reframe the signs of staying apart into a different way to connect.

Participants are invited to contribute their photographs of these notations and gestures via Direct Messenger to a dedicated Instagram account @atlas_everydayx for the duration of festivalCHAT (and beyond if interest and intrigue prevail). Along with the image, the Atlas asks for a brief description of the location (e.g. a café near Trafalgar Square, London, UK) and a note as to whether the photographer prefers to remain anonymous or to have their @ handle identified in any public post/display. By submitting images participants agree to the fact that it may be shared as a post on the Atlas Everyday X Instagram account. Images will be selected and featured in daily updates alongside the curator’s images of this phenomena.

The project responds to the global experiences of social distancing – and how digital media has sought to circumvent the restraints on movement and interpersonal contact. Depending on the uptake and submissions offered, a curated lo-fi publication of the Atlas may eventuate.

Instagram: direct message to @atlas_everydayx

Hashtags: #festivalchat2020 #atlas_everydayx

Toy Stage

The myth of the Danish Iron Age goddess Nerthus as described by Tacitus. The statue of the goddess was covered in cloth and driven through the country on a cart drawn by cows.

marjolijn kok (Netherlands)

The Instagram toystage invites everybody to look into their home and find toys to recreate archaeologically themed photographs. In these days when we are confined to the home more than usual, we need to use our homes in new ways. With many people working from the home the border between work and play becomes thin. At the toystage this border is crossed by expressing archaeological practices, ideas and events through the use of toys. So we go beyond creating little excavations, although they are also welcome. In these times of isolation we want to return to what is familiar and social. And the toystage is certainly there to give joy and contentment. It is for all levels of toy and Instagram users and you can make a new account if you are not on this platform. Just post your photographs and if you want a small text during festivalCHAT and use the hashtags #toystage and #festivalCHAT2020 so everybody can enjoy your creations.

Post your contributions to Instagram: #toystage #festivalCHAT2020



Rubble Rubble: mapping waste stories

Jonathan Gardner (UK)

Share your varied experiences of waste materials, and landscapes transformed by waste, on an interactive map. These can be added until the live discussion event Wednesday 28 October 16:30-17.30 (GMT).

Waste materials such as rubble, garbage, spoil or slag have been used to transform landscapes for thousands of years. Sometimes this is an intentional and creative act such as reclaiming land using demolition rubble, or recycling materials into new structures. At other times such transformation is more gradual and is more of a ‘by- product’; for example when plants and animals colonise a spoil heap and it comes to be valued as a natural heritage site. In other cases, individual fragments of waste like a chunk of a demolished building or piece of garbage can end up being protected and curated as heritage, with waste materials acting as representatives of distant times and places.

With this in mind I want to hear your tales and anecdotes of waste materials and waste-modified landscapes and share them online during festivalCHAT!

Some inspirational questions to get you started:

> Do you have a favourite brick?
> Do you wonder if that prized possession you lost years ago still lies buried somewhere in a gargantuan landfill?
> Is your house built on reclaimed land and, if so, does this bother or reassure you?
> Have you ever rescued something from a demolition site?
> Do you treasure a piece of a ruined monument or nostalgically curate a chunk of your first flat?
> Have you ever seen garbage magically transformed into ‘heritage’?

What do I have to do?

All you have to do is add a ‘story’ to the map about a waste object, material or landscape (or some combination therein) which can be in the form of a few lines of text, an image with a caption, a video or something else.

The Rubble Rubble Padlet map link to access and share works best on a desktop or tablet scale browser rather than a phone).

Made with Padlet

Click on the pink + button to start and then choose your rough location, add text, and upload any files you like. You can have as many posts as you like and you also link them together using the options button (the ellipsis … symbol on the top right of your post).

Your posts will then be shared online with festivalCHAT and you can share the link further afield if you like too. Here’s one I made earlier!

Images can either be uploaded (keep them to around 0.5mb max if possible) or linked to (e.g. from within google drive, Flickr etc.). If you don’t have an image consider linking to a creative commons image online (be sure to provide attribution in the text box if required).

You can either include your name in the post or choose to submit anonymously. You can also email me submissions (please include a rough location if doing this) and I can post them on your behalf.

What will happen then?

Anyone with the link can post to and view the Padlet map. You can post without logging in or you can choose to create an account if you wish to edit your submission at a later date.

The Rubble Rubble map will be accessible and editable for the duration of festivalCHAT and beyond. I will also host a live discussion during festivalCHAT (28 October 16:30 GMT) where I will discuss your submissions (and some of my own) and introduce my new project. If you attend the live component you are also very much invited to discuss your submission in person too!

This activity is held to celebrate the launch of my new research project Reimagining British Waste Landscapes funded by the Leverhulme Trust and Edinburgh College of Art (University of Edinburgh).

Please contact me with any questions:

DISCLAIMERS: please read in full here if you want to take part

Postcards from all edges

David Webb & Lara Band (UK)

Arr. Dave Webb with Lara Band, Jobbe Wijnen, Laura Aish, John Tierney, Dan Lee, Antonia Thomas, Rachael Kiddey, Lawrence Northall, Ursula Frederick, Jacqui Mulville, Ben Philcox, Hilary Orange

Tiny sound pictures charting your journeys to #festivalCHAT2020: A front door in East London. Late night seagulls at Ramsgate Harbour circling the fishing boats. An echoey street in Gelderland, so noisy that every falling hairpin can be heard inside, listening to some radio, going outside, a family had just passed, and then a 1950 Mercedes car passed by.

A walk through overgrown graveyard in West Cork – Kilbrogan has one of the oldest ‘modern’ headstones in Ireland dating to 1623 – the mortuary monument appears to be Protestant and it represents the divided and contested landscape of the Bandon area since the town was founded in 1608.

The sea at Dingyshowe, Deerness. The beach is a tombolo between The East Mainland and Deerness (‘nearly an island’). This beach on the east side faces the North Sea. The tide was high, and the weather calm, and small waves were breaking over a small sand shelf at the top of the beach. Sometimes the waves would wash over to the top of the sand. Nearby is a large broch mound, hence the ‘howe’ placename of the beach. Willow and Bee, the kittens purring.

A calf mooing and a bit of owl, a windy and rainy old morning, near Dartmouth, south Devon, UK. Breakfast at Zest Cafe, Ramsgate. A trip for coffee in Canberra with the general bustle of birds, people walking past, hum of building sounds (electricity?). The River taff on a  morning run, CV19 defences. And a laptop falling off a desk….

Visit the SoundStage for other sonic experiences …

Original Call:

This piece is all about you and by you, collectively!

‘The journey to CHAT’ – people documenting their journey to the annual CHAT conference – has become an informal tradition over the years. In absence of physical journeys this year we’d like to recreate your journeys in sound through sound postcards, recorded from your window on your way to festivalCHAT.

Over the week we’ll arrange the sounds, sequentially in the order that they arrive and binaurally according to their position geographically. This will create a continuous soundscape hosted on our own Soundcloud and will be the final piece posted on SoundStage on the last day of festivalCHAT. Please send a recording up to 20 seconds long, ideally MP3 or .wav. Phone recordings are fine and we can also rip sound from films made on your phone if necessary. Email your postcard to with your approximate location, if you’re a happy to share that with us. Let us know if you’re happy for us to credit you by name in our summary of the piece too.

You can send your postcard anytime from the first day of festivalCHAT on Friday 23 October until midnight (your time zone) on Monday 26 October to give us time to put it together.

We look forward to hearing from you!


A sound stage for festivalCHAT curated by Lara Band, Dave Webb and Lawrence Northall (UK)

Hello and welcome to SoundStage. Over the week, every day, we’ll be here introducing soundstronauts, noise makers, musicians and sonic experimenters for all your aural pleasures.

Follow the daily entries as they emerge here:

SoundStage 23

SoundStage 24

SoundStage 25

SoundStage 26

SoundStage 27

SoundStage 28

SoundStage 29

SoundStage 30

Original call for contributions

We’re putting out this call for you to either create something new or share a ready made sound piece. Your piece should be a response to place, space or materiality: You may also want to consider the special themes: Archaeologies of festivals; COVID-19 pandemic; Equality & Diversity; Decolonializing contemporary archaeology; Archaeologies of protest; Togetherness & Fragmentation; Drift.

If you’ve a piece you’d like featured, send us your bio and some words about the piece (max 300 words), a link* and an image (as a separate file named ‘artist name’.jpg) to Include your social media @s too. We’ll organise submissions into themed sets – using your own words and image as the main texts of the blog. Every day during the week long festival the festivalCHAT website will release a blog with the set as suggested listening for the day.

*Sound pieces with accompanying film are also welcome but you must be able to host this yourself. We envisage that most of you will have your own Soundcloud, Bandcamp, webpage or similar but we can help you set up a free Soundcloud account if necessary.


A call for flash fiction and nano-histories in 150 words or less

The Writing Archaeology Collective, Columbia University:

Amanda Althoff, Madison Aubey, Rudy Banny, Annarubenia Capellin Ortega, Zoë Crossland, Katherine McCarthy, Brendon Murray, Jenny Ni, Cleo Payne, Nikki Vellidis (US)

Live event Thursday 29 October 14:00-16:00 EDT (New York) 18:00-20:00 GMT (London)

With every passing moment we see clear examples of how the world around us shapes and is shaped by history. In this festival session we challenge the archaeological community to use location as a bridge between the contemporary and historical and to find new ways to narrate the clash of pasts and presents and the accumulation of new meanings and associations with place.

We ask for flash fictions or nano-histories that reflect on time’s interconnectivities. Consider Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the British Museum in London; the Jelling Stones in Denmark; any number of political borders and walls. How do past and present merge and clash particularly in the context of our pandemic world and the protests of Black Lives Matter?

Participants should submit a 150-word or less story, together with an image showing the site attached to their story. Each presenter will have 10 minutes to read their piece and respond to questions. Accepted submission will be posted to Instagram and the session will be held on Zoom and streamed live on Facebook. Please make sure your images are yours, or that their source is cited.

Submit to by Tuesday 27 October.

Eventbrite registration is for spectators only. If all tickets are taken it will still be possible to watch the livestream and submit questions for speakers on our Facebook page

Twitter: @CUArchaeology

Facebook & Instagram: @centerforarchaeology

#FestivalCHAT2020 #TimeClash2020 #Nanohistory #Flashfiction


Tiago Muniz (Brazil) and Jaime Almansa-Sánchez (Spain)

Submit your entries now and be part of a live forum event on Tuesday 27 October 14:00 CST (Ciudad de México); 17:00 ART, BRT (Buenos Aires, Brasilia); 20:00 GMT (London).

Spanish/Portuguese friendly event, see translations below.

If you feel that contemporary archaeology has a lot to offer on new ways of understanding the past, this is your event. If your approach to archaeological method and practice goes beyond the trowel into more engaging and transformative practices, this is your event. If you believe that archaeology engages the political yesteryear and today, this is your event.

In order to make (contemporary) archaeology great again, we propose a decolonizing approach to emerging presents that benefits people and engages in a mutual learning process. But we want to know where we stand first, so this is a call for ideas and projects that are currently moving this way in Latin America.

Send us 6-10 pictures and a 500-1000 word essay about your experience on how communication, oral history, expressions, gestures, local knowledges and inter-multi-trans-vocality have improved archaeology, or how you deal with ‘fake archaeology’, imagination, memories, etc. while building archaeological knowledge. The selected works will be part of a digital photo-essay during festivalCHAT this fall, and we will have the chance to meet and discuss our views and approaches in a
live forum.

Email submissions to:  Deadline for submissions Tuesday 20 October (Closed!).

Line up:

Z) Contemporary Archaeology and Activism in Latin America

Caterina Mantilla Cronopolítica del relato. Libertad, transformación y persistencia en una comunidad afrodescendiente del norte de colombia

CIIVAC (Colectivo Interdisciplinario e Intercultural de los Valle Altos Catamarqueños), by Alejandra Korstanje Pasado y el Presente son una unidad, no existen el uno sin el otro

Marcia Hattori Uma Arqueologia da Necropolítica – os Não reclamados e NN

Sabrina Fernandes Afetividades, interações e patrimônios arqueológicos: precisamos falar mais sobre as comunidades e seus problemas no contemporâneo

Violet Baudelaire Anzini) Gênero em Ruínas

Y) From local communities to emergent presents

Lucio Costa Leite Paisagens Sensíveis, Olhares Cotidianos e Arqueologia no Igarapé do Lago, Amapá, Amazônia, Brasil

Lucas Antonio da Silva Anzóis e malhas: uma etnografia arqueológica da pesca artesanal no sul do Brasil

Euzimar Gomes, Celso Sanchez & Tiago Muniz Bem viver e modos de vida em comunidades locais no Baixo Amazonas

Israel Campos “Caminho da modernidade”

Tiago Muinz Rubber Boom (1850-1920) and non-hegemonic narratives about Hevea brasiliensis from a local-global perspective

X) Archaeology and Heritage in Metropolis from global south

Cilcair Andrade, Cláudia Vitalino, Jeanne Crespo, Gina Bianchini, Maria Dulce Gaspar Educação patrimonial nas ruas do Rio: respeito, apropriação e legitimação – o caso do cemitério do Largo de Santa Rita

Alejandra Saladino & Gusthavo Gonçalves Roxo Arqueologia do inevitável, o que não é, mas pode ser no e pelo Cais do Valongo (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil)

Felipe Tramasoli Rio Grande Cinza – uma exposição fotográfica virtual

Renata Godoy & Diogo Costa Arqueologia do Invisível: um estudo contemporâneo sobre a materialidade de uma paisagem urbana contaminada

Glenda Fernandes Entre olhares e narrativas sobre a capela pombo: arqueologia no contemporâneo em Belém/Pará/Amazônia

Ney Gomes Archaeological work and public perception – the experience of archaeological excavation in the historic city centre of the oldest capital in the Brazilian Amazon.

Thibault Saintenoy & Daniella Jofré El patrimonio y la construcción/deconstrucción de las fronteras nacionales: la experiencia de Redes Andinas


Un ensayo fotográfico sobre las aproximaciones latino-americanas a la arqueología contemporánea.

Si sientes que la arqueología contemporánea tiene mucho que ofrecer en cuanto a nuevas formas de entender el pasado, este es tu evento. Si tu aproximación al método y la práctica arqueológicas va más allá del paletín hacia prácticas más interesantes y transformadoras, este es tu evento. Si crees que la arqueología se ocupa de la política del pasado reciente y de hoy, este es tu evento.

Para hacer la arqueología (contemporánea) grande de nuevo, proponemos una aproximación decolonial a los presentes emergentes que beneficie a la gente y se involucre en procesos de co-aprendizaje. Pero queremos saber primero dónde estamos, así que esta llamada es para ideas y proyectos que estén actualmente moviéndose en esa línea en Latinoamérica.

Envíanos entre 6 y 10 fotos con un pequeño ensayo de 500-1000 palabras sobre tu experiencia en cómo la comunicación, la historia oral, expresiones, gestos, conocimientos locales o la inter-multi-trans-vocalidad ayudaron a mejorar tu arqueología, o cómo lidias con la “fake archaeology”, imaginaciones, memorias, etc. mientras construyes conocimiento arqueológico. Los trabajos seleccionados serán
parte de un foto-ensayo digital durante el festival CHAT de este otoño, y tendremos la ocasión de reunirnos y discutir nuestras perspectivas y aproximaciones en un foro en vivo.


Um ensaio fotográfico sobre as abordagens latino-americanas à arqueologia contemporânea.

Se você acha que a arqueologia contemporânea tem muito a oferecer em novas formas de compreender o passado, este é o seu evento. Se a sua abordagem do método e da prática arqueológica vai além das colheres de arqueólogo rumo a práticas mais engajadas e transformadoras, este é o seu evento. Se você acredita que a arqueologia envolve a política do passado recente e de hoje, este é o seu evento.

A fim de tornar a arqueologia (contemporânea) grande novamente, propomos uma abordagem decolonizante dos presentes emergentes que beneficia as pessoas e se engaja em um processo de aprendizagem mútua. Mas queremos saber onde estamos primeiro, então esta é uma chamada para ideias e projetos que estão se movendo atualmente nesta direção na América Latina.

Envie-nos de 6 a 10 fotos e um ensaio de 500 a 1000 palavras sobre sua experiência de como a comunicação, história oral, expressões, gestos, conhecimentos locais e inter-multi-trans-vocalidade ajudaram a arqueologia a se aprimorar, ou como você lida com a “arqueologia falsa”, imaginação, memórias, etc. na construção de conhecimentos arqueológicos. Os trabalhos selecionados farão parte de um ensaio fotográfico digital durante o CHAT do festival neste outono, e teremos a chance de nos encontrar e discutir nossas visões e abordagens em um fórum ao vivo.


Katy Whitaker (UK) and Lara Band (UK)

How can people come together at a time of enforced separation? Inspired by Client Culture’s postal zine project Cross Pollination for Antiuniversity 2020, CHAT-CHAIN-MAIL is a Mail Art project for festivalCHAT building a chain of thoughts, ideas and art as the piece moves through the physical world.

This event is open now so get involved!

Mail Art developed in contemporary art movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Also known as postal art, Mail Art is a populist art movement that involves making small pieces to be sent in the post. These artworks are commonly postcards, small zines, little collages or textual pieces, they make use of everyday materials, found materials, rubber stamps, and home printing, but ultimately includes anything that can be put in an envelope and sent by post.

Mail Art is thus an egalitarian art-form. It is cheap and it circumvents the conventional art market. It is global, putting people in touch with one another around the world via international postal services. Mail Art often chimes with the ethos of ‘Reuse, Repair, Recycle’ in the materials found, selected, adapted, and collated to make the pieces.

It is not only the image that matters. The material properties and networked nature of Mail Art are things that archaeology has the means to attend to. And the connectedness of Mail Art, tangible items whose properties are not mediated by a screen, affords the possibility of real-life, physical inter-connection between people otherwise kept apart from one-another in a time of pandemic. The journey that our Mail Art will take and its transformation through each pair of creative hands are as, if not more, important, than the final completed piece that we can share.

How this will work:

If you’d like to take part sign up between now and the last day of festivalCHAT, Friday 30 October 2020 by emailing us at . We’ll send you guidelines for how the project will work, read and agree to these (ask if you’ve any questions) and we’ll add you to the list!

On the first day of festivalCHAT, Friday 23 October we’ll start CHAT-CHAIN-MAIL by posting an opening piece to the first person on the list. The recipient will have three days to add their contribution before posting it on to the next participant. We’ll only share your address with the previous contributor in the chain and we won’t keep your contact details after.

Each person will have three days to add their piece, it can be a response to the previous piece or something new: size guide is a maximum of two sides of A4 paper with thoughts, art and ideas using whatever materials you like. Email us when you’ve completed your piece and we’ll send you the address of the next person to send it to.

CHAT-CHAIN-MAIL will inevitably continue its travels after festivalCHAT so to document the package as it travels through festivalCHAT-time and beyond we’d like contributors to take a picture of their work, in whole or part, to share on social media with #FestivalCHAT2020 #ChatChainMail. The final piece will be scanned for documenting on the festivalCHAT and/or CHAT website and the piece itself will travel to the next live CHAT accompanied by an approximate map of its journey, for perusal in person.

#CHATChainMail @_Laraband @artefactual_KW