Online and In-Person Talk: Making Space for Smells: Considerations on Exhibiting the Intangible in the U.A.E.

SCENT CULTURE ALERT: Live perfume sampling and incense burning with Francesca Bacci in Amsterdam

On February 13th, 2023, in collaboration with art historian, professor and curator Caro Verbeek, the Odeuropa project will organize a smell talk by Professor Francesca Bacci titled, Making Space for Smells: Considerations on Exhibiting the Intangible in the U.A.E. The talk will be available to watch online and in-person (NIAS Korte Spinhuissteeg 3, Amsterdam, Netherlands). Zoom link and all practical information below. We hope to see you there!

Talk Title: Making Space for Smells: Considerations on Exhibiting the Intangible in the U.A.E.

Within the UAE’s cultural strategies, the codification of perfume as an element connected to local heritage and national identity is emerging. This paper considers how perfume exhibitions construct the conceptual space of national storytelling through case studies, such as Louvre (Abu Dhabi), Perfume House (Dubai), and Oman pavilion (Expo 2020).

Copyright and photo: Francesca Bacci

About the Speaker: Francesca Bacci is Associate Professor and Chair of Arts at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, and an inter-disciplinary curator specializing in multisensory and contemporary art. Her Fulbright-funded Ph.D. is from Rutgers University. She has taught at Oxford, Harvard and Rutgers University. She co-wrote “Art and the Senses” (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Date: February 13th
Time: 15.30 – 17:00
Location: NIAS Korte Spinhuissteeg 3
Organized by Caro Verbeek (Vrije Universiteit) and Inger Leemans (Meertens Instituut KNAW)
No need to sign up, just come by or join via Zoom (odourless option)

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 984 4221 5362
Passcode: 679634

Improve your olfactory language – Hackathon

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Join us on 7 & 8 November 2022 at the National and University Library of Slovenia in Ljubljana for a nose-dive into the history and heritage of smell and the Odeuropa tools and data!

For whom? 
The event is directed at cultural heritage professionals, digital heritage collection specialists, computer science scholars, historians, (computational) linguists.

Why participate?
The hackathon will offer an intensive, two-day, nose-on and hands-on meeting, to try out cutting edge research and development in sensory data-mining, and discuss the opportunities of olfactory approaches to cultural collections and archives. Also, the rich olfactory lexicons of the past may offer new opportunities for research and exploitation. The nose-on setup of the workshop, which includes sniffing sessions and a smell walk through the library, will offer participants a chance to learn by sensing. Furthermore, we offer a reception in the library, where you can make valuable new connections with an international network of colleagues.

What can you expect?
In the morning of 7 November, we will start with a general introduction to the topic of the history, heritage and smell language, accompanied by sniffing sessions. Researchers of the Odeuropa project will highlight the opportunities of working with smells in heritage institutes, and what we can learn from the rich smell language of the past. Furthermore, the models and demonstrators of the Odeuropa project will be presented. This workshop part of the hackathon is also open for the general public.

In the afternoon of 7 November and on 8 November the participants will work in small groups to test and evaluate the Odeuropa prototype tools on concrete tasks, such as:

  • Search and find the occurrence of odors in historical texts using the Odeuropa Explorer & Smell Tracker
  • Analyse the descriptions of olfactory events in different languages and domains
  • Try out automatic annotation of documents via Odeuropa Wikifier API
  • Study relatedness between Smell event, Smell Locations and Smell Appraisals / Emotions
  • Compare smell vocabularies in different languages
  • Trace odors in literary texts and explore the opportunities to ‘represent’ these scents to collection visitors

Furthermore, the participants are invited to bring their own datasets, or request specific tasks.

Smell walk:
The event also includes a smell walk (a walk where you are led by your nose) in and around the library: to train your nose, help to explore the concept of fragrant spaces, and discover the importance of the smell of heritage spaces.

Nose-Dive into the History and Heritage of Smell!

Participation is free, however, participants are expected to bring their own laptops, and cover their own travel expenses.

Apply until 25.10.2022:

Contact email: