Accepted Paper:

Affective productions at the Museo Migrante  


Siobhan McGuirk (Goldsmiths University of London)
Deyanira Clériga Morales (Universidad Autonoma de Chiapas / Voces Mesoamericanas)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on ethnographic findings and using interactive presentation methods, we explain how creative activity and personal reflection shape productions of knowledge and collective memory in the Museo Migrante, a travelling pop-up exhibition of migration and indigeneity, in Chiapas, Mexico.

Paper long abstract:

The Museo Migrante (MuMi) is a travelling pop-up exhibition constructed by indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico, in collaboration with the locally-based NGO, Voces Mesoamericanos. Through images, texts, objects and creative activities—which are constantly shaped anew through relocations and new visitors' engagements—MuMi is designed to make visible the complex roots and consequences of domestic as well as international migration by revealing the stories of those who move—and those who do (or can) not. The project aims not only to inform, but also to examine the processes and material culture of knowledge and memory construction—both collective and individual—and invite reflection on identity, dignity, rights and freedom.

In this presentation, we explain how MuMi operates, and how the naming of the space intentionally interrupts popular ideas—derived from the nation-state—regarding whose stories, images, art, and bodies "belong" in the museum. We then draw on ethnographic and interview findings to reflect critically on MuMi's "success" in relation to its intended goals, and assess the challenges of measuring its impact on the communities it visits. The presentation will feature subtitled video clips of co-author Deyanira Cleriga Morales—unable to travel to the conference due to financial restrictions—and an "exhibit" that we invite panel attendees to co-create during the presentation. These interactive and sensorial methods serve to highlight the realities of (im)mobility as well as the ways in which affect and personal reflection shape the production of knowledge and ideas about migration—capturing the intent and ethos of MuMi.

Panel C02
Anthropology, museums and art: collaborative methodologies in migration research