2018-2019

1:00 PM, 26 Mar 2019 - , Mary Ryan Meeting Room, ORB G27

Memory, Mobility and Material Culture: Thinking Migration Through Objects


ISS21 Migration & Integration Research Cluster Seminar Series

 

Memory, Mobility and Material Culture: Thinking Migration Through Objects

Chiara Giuliani (Department of Italian) and Kate Hodgson (Department of French)

 

Tuesday 26th March, 1.00 – 2.30pm, Mary Ryan Meeting Room, ORB G27


"Beside losing their personal belongings - destined to be destroyed, - migrants are stripped of their basic rights. At the end of their long journey they must face the discriminatory and elusive laws and regulations of "Fortress Europe", even when they are seeking political asylum." (Frammenti)

This paper is prompted by reflection on the photography of Mario Badagliacca, who in 2013 came face to face with boxes full of objects taken from migrants and subsequently dumped by the authorities on Lampedusa. Broken shoes, clothes, cigarette packets, food items, paperwork... We consider what Badagliacca's detailed portraits of these lost/discarded objects can tell us about the subjectivity of the owner. Are these objects invested with meaning derived from the former lives of the migrants; is their 'value' in their experience as mute witnesses of a Mediterranean crossing? Were they to be reunited with their owner, what purpose would they serve? We consider material culture as a repository of the memory of the experience of seeking political asylum in Europe as it plays out in our present day. In a moment of total personal upheaval and loss, can value be attributed by a third party seeking to document and record another person's experience? How can individual subjectivities of migrants be represented by what they have left behind them? what is the object standing in for? Taking Badagliacca's 2013 exhibition Frammenti as a starting point, we will go on to reflect from a cross-disciplinary perspective on objects in contemporary artistic and cultural production, primarily produced by/for Europeans, on the subject of migration and mobility in the twenty-first century.

Free - all welcome. Organised by ISS21 Migration & Integration Research Cluster Seminar Series

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