The panel applies the term migratory aesthetics to subjectivities and journeys in anthropological practices. We welcome papers linking interdisciplinary border crossings between art, activism, ecology, media and anthropological critiques of practice.
This panel applies the term migratory aesthetics, developed by cultural theorist and video-artist Mieke Bal to anthropological critiques and practices. Anthropology has attended to a 'world of movement and migrating identity' for some time (Rapport and Dawson, 1998) whilst migration and displacement has become a staple subject matter for contemporary art. For Bal her term has a double meaning. It is a traveling concept which 'promotes the migratory as a paradigm of our times', incorporating 'instability and productive tensions', (Bal and Hernandez-Navarro, 2011). Recent debates on the Anthropocene, climate change, neo-liberal economics and non-human agency (Tsing et al, 2016; Demos, 2011; and Haraway, 2016); and contemporary art, politics and ethics, (Bal and Hernandez-Navarro, 2011; Demos, 2016; Sholette et al, 2017); play into migratory aesthetics. Papers might address and critique images from research with refugees or migrants that relate to questions of displacement, diaspora, memory, trauma or perceptions of travel, home and identity, mapping process or the temporalities of work between the present and archives. This may involve responses posed by exhibition, film, artwork, writing or performance which incorporates ethnographic research. These responses might observe agencies, narratives, epistemologies and materialities which derive from employing a migratory aesthetic. They may attend to migrating states of mind such as grief, recovery, catharsis, and to subjectivities and journeys in anthropological practices linked with interdisciplinary border crossings between art, activism, curating, ecology, and media.