Accepted Paper:

Creative Spaces, Self-Authorship and Mutual Interdependence  
Catrin Evans (University of Bedfordshire)

Paper short abstract:

This paper presents a case for how collaborative learning and creative expression can focus our attention on the emotional labour involved in homemaking, and asks how might the creative spaces exercise resistance within the hegemonic state that is the UK's Hostile Environment and Fortress Europe?

Paper long abstract:

As a theatre artist my research is both practice-led and anthropological. Reflecting on my experiences in the role of Artist-Researcher on a year-long multi-artform project with the Scottish Refugee Council and Tramway in Glasgow, this paper presents a case for how collaborative learning and creative expression can challenge us to look beyond normative, and often de-personalised and de-politicised understandings of integration. Focusing instead on the subjugated narratives associated with the emotional labour involved in homemaking, a key aspect of which involves navigating a system and a society that welcomes refugees and those seeking asylum with one hand, and pushes away with another.

Informed by bell hooks' work on sites of dialogue, radical openness and pedagogies of resistance this paper asks how might the creative spaces that we activate exercise resistance within the hegemonic state that is the UK's Hostile Environment and Fortress Europe? What opportunities do performative and creative moments offer for getting closer to a desire for a self-authored life? Finally, can we look to arts spaces and practices to challenge the call for integration and hospitality based on 'affective identification', and instead move towards a more active and radical form of solidarity that is based on a shared acknowledgment of mutual interdependence?

Panel P099
Representations of displacement and the struggle for home and homemaking