CFP Geographies of Migration and Art: Intersections and Imaginaries, Flows and Controls

Deadline 15/3/2023

Organised by Dr Saskia Warren (The University of Manchester) and Dr Amanda Rogers (Swansea University)

Human Geographers have made a sustained, but perhaps under-recognised, contribution to understanding the relationship between migration and art (Rogers 2015, 2017; Sheringham 2020), particularly regarding creative workers (Warren 2022; Boren and Young 2013; Faggian 2014). Geography’s critical lens has helped to spatialise how creativity and movement interconnect within and across locations, national borders, territories, and seas. Simultaneously, migration scholars examined how artistic practice can give insights into, and challenge popular assumptions about, migrant lives (Kiwan and Meinhof 2011; Martinello 2022; Patteri 2022). Globalisation and the rise of the creative industries as master narratives remain important, but these are increasingly reframed by territorial protectionism, attunement to disconnection, pain and absences in global relationships, for instance in post-colonial and settler colonial relations, and critical interest in that which is represented as place-based, local, indigenous, marginal or minor.

This call seeks to bring together scholarship from those working on these intersections of the cultural and political in new ways. In considering the relationship between migration and art, we are particularly interested in seeing where creative and migratory forces connect, the imaginations and new worlds they might promote, and where flows of people and materials may be productive, but also where they may be inhibited or blocked in some way – all of which provide insights into understanding migration as a phenomenon. As such, contributions could include, but are not limited to:

  • International migration and mobilities of creative and arts workers eg artists in exile, peacebuilding, Human Rights and cultural expression
  • Creative and arts-based schemes for refugees and asylum seekers – barriers, well-being, world-building
  • Migration and (im)mobilities of material culture eg restitution, repatriation, cultural diplomacy, philanthropic ‘gifting’, mobile collections, Covid-19 and fixity-in-place
  • Internal migration eg urban – rural migration and policy for arts-based rural regeneration; arts-based interventions for rural – urban migrant integration
  • Digital infrastructure and mobilities of images: copyright, information, ethics and encounters
  • Legal geographies and policy mobilities – concepts and modelling for Cultural and Creative Economy (CCE), diversity and inclusion, Sarr-Savoy report (2019) and restitution
  • Historical creative geographies eg colonial mobilities of art schools, teachers, art students, their art and craft, ideas, pedagogies
  • More-than-representational knowledges (embodied, affectual and emotional): investigating ways-of-knowing and apprehending experience through and within creative mediums/methods
  • Critical heritage and racial capitalism, decoloniality, anti-racist, feminist and intersectional approaches
  • Migration studies using creative methods; capacities for in/exclusion, innovation, reflections on creative fieldwork ethics

We are interested in conceptual, empirical and practice-orientated papers/presentations from cultural and political geography, and also feminist, urban, rural, social and development geographies. However, we recognise the multidisciplinary field of migration theory and creative arts/culture and welcome contributions from related fields.

The RGS-IBG conference will take place in London and online, from the evening of Tuesday 29 August to Friday 1 September 2023.

Please send abstracts of 250 words to both Saskia Warren (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Amanda Rogers (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). We welcome submissions from any career stage, including ECR and doctoral researchers. It is our intention that papers from the conference sessions will be developed into a Special Issue for an international peer-reviewed journal – please signal your interest when submitting an abstract. 

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