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CFP: “Cultural Production and the Contemporary Visual Narratives of Migration, Refuge and Borders” organized by the RSA Network on the Politics of Displacement, Identity and Urban Citizenship in Migratory Contexts
Hulya Arik (University of Toronto)
Johanna Reynolds (York University)
This session aims to question how art and cultural production engages, critiques, and shapes our understanding of contemporary migration, borders, and the global ‘refugee crisis’. Since the media’s portrayal of the perceived ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe reached its peak in 2015, images of bodies on boats, crowded camps, securitized border walls and masses walking across continents have come to dominate the public imaginary, as well as public art installations and exhibitions. How is the refugee subject framed within broader political, social and historical discourses centered at once on notions of hospitality, and exclusion? A few notable examples include Ai Weiwei’s photographic depiction of Alan Kurdi on the Greek island of Lesbos; Jason de Caires Taylor’s sculpture,‘The Raft of Lampedusa’ found in Europe’s first underwater art museum; and ‘Angels Unaware’ – a migrant sculpture in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City. The violence of borders and related production of ‘crisis’ narratives has also been prevalent on the agendas of large metropolitan museums as well as smaller-scale, grassroots-organized art galleries and community centres.
In these sessions, we invite papers that critically reflect on visual and artistic representations of refugees and migrants, as well as contemporary moments of border and migration ‘crisis’ globally, with a particular focus on works that reproduce and/or challenge the existing epistemic paradigms of such representations.
Possible topics may include but are not limited to:
- Discourses on refugeeness, displacement, and rescue
- Representations of pain and suffering surrounding refugee lives
- Hospitality towards the stranger
- Acts of solidarity, resistance across borders
- ‘Crisis’ narratives
- Criminalization of humanitarian aid workers
- Border policies, border zones, borderlands, border cities
- Walls, fences, bordering technologies
Submission of abstracts
Please email enquiries and abstracts (max 250 words) to email@example.com by January 25, 2020. Authors will be notified by January 27 at the latest.
Sponsors and travel funding
This special session is sponsored by the Regional Studies Association Research Network on Politics of Displacement, Identity and Urban Citizenship in Migratory Contexts. Limited travel funds will be made available to accepted participants who are also members of the Regional Studies Association. Funds will be distributed through an application process and on a financial need basis.