P076
The visual art of refugees: expressions of flight and exile [Anthropology of the Middle East and Central Eurasia Network Panel]

Convenors:
Pedram Khosronejad (Western Sydney University)
Sholeh Shahrokhi (Butler University)
Chair:
Leonardo Schiocchet (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Format:
Panels
Location:
SO-D299
Start time:
16 August, 2018 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

In this panel we seek anthropological works that introduce and reflect on the rich repertoire of refugees visual productions and art expressions. Panel participants should address how anthropology of visual art intersects with the scholarship of refugees, exile, and border crossing.

Long abstract:

Since 2015 there has been a steady rise in the constructed spectacle of refugees arriving in Europe through mainstream media reports. Despite the proliferation of visual production in media, the image of the refugees remains essentialized as a destabilizing figure of an unwanted "other". "The refugee experience," in this way, is the inescapable narrative of victimhood and despair. Contemporary anthropology is no stranger to both the power and the danger of the visual in the representation of the "other", and/or the disruption of the perceived "familiar". However, art, photography, and the visual expressions of (by) the refugees and the displaced people arriving in Europe, have received little attention in the burgeoning anthropological scholarship of recent years. Furthermore, artists and visual activists have produced some of the most poignant disquieting interventions in the current discourse on refugees in Europe (and across the global south). Additionally, a growing number of refugee artists, themselves, have become instrumental in transforming the topography of the discourse by way of art productions- from photography exhibitions to street graffiti art exposes- that brings to life the diversity of voices and the vibrancy of aspirations among the mass populations generally categorized as refugees in the political north. In this panel we seek anthropological works that introduce and reflect on the rich repertoire of refugees visual productions and art expressions. Panel participants should address how anthropology of visual art intersects with the scholarship of refugees, exile, and border crossing.