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Mapping the migrant experience: places, affect and imaginaries from the margins
Toma Peiu (University of Colorado Boulder)
Maria Hagan (University of Cambridge)
Thursday 17 September, 14:30-16:00, 16:30-18:00

Short abstract:

The migrant experience, in its entangled nature, recreates place through affect and imaginary. Understanding the world as flow or margin demands crossing boundaries between anthropology, geography and artistic practices through collaborative research and creation.

Long abstract:

Migrant presence, be it formal or informal, is a much reiterated and contested topic of public and political debate. With a particular focus on the more-than-human turns which have gained salience in anthropological and geographical research in recent years, this panel explores how migrant individuals or groups inscribe themselves on their landscapes and spaces of life, be it literally, through their imaginaries, or the enactment of everyday life. Placed on the margins, knowledge by and about the migrant does not fit pre-existing ontologies. Conventional temporalities and spatialities are distorted, twisted, fractured, in winding conversations between the present and the past; between 'heres' and 'theres'; between movement, flow and environmental and infrastructural precarity. This panel aims to juxtapose and bridge these conversations, considering not only how we see the spatial expression of migrant groups, but how we might read and map spaces of settlement, stagnation or transit. Stepping beyond the language of exception, we seek inclusive methodologies which grasp and convey the entangled experience of the 21st century. Such readings emerge through sensitivity to affect, atmosphere, memory and materiality. We are inspired by literature from across the disciplines which reconsiders the creative potential of traces, ruins and ruination. We welcome proposals reflecting on ethnographic case studies from across the world, that take a more-than-human approach to the study of migrant spatialities, as well as projects and papers that reflect on intersections of research, creation and performance: embodied ethnography, collaborative methodologies, critical media practices and other modes of knowledge-making from the margins.