We are a transdisciplinary research collective interested in critical approaches and creative engagements with arts, aesthetics, and race in migration and diaspora studies. In this panel, we invite our fellow scholars to a dialogue on why we should question the contemporary emphasis on social cohesion in projects of art and culture involving migrants. The connection between art and integration is part of the history of cultural policy, which can be defined as a sustained effort on behalf of the state to turn culture into a resource for a unified and inclusive sense of national culture. Initially, these policies focused on democratization through programs of accessibility directed at the working class. However, what once was an effort to bridge barriers of class and education is today often directly addressing perceived social problems related to migration. This shift from democratization and accessibility to social cohesion and integration is producing new concerns for researchers studying art in the context of migration. We invite fellow scholars at all career stages to critically reflect on existing discourses of celebratory migranticization and diversification in the arts and look forward to exploring these topics and their multiple intersections across a broad spectrum of geographies, languages and disciplines. We thereby wish to challenge instrumentalist understandings of art and to better grasp the stakes of migranticized cultural projects.
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