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SOAS: Sensing Borders (& Resistance): Creative Methods in Embodied Migration Research 
Charlotte Sanders
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Partner Event
Wednesday 8 March, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

Do we live in an age of mobility, or immobility? How might creative research methods illuminate the everyday politics and (after)lives of borders? SOAS MA students consider the force of artistic processes in enriching their ethnographic migration research, and supporting decolonial modes of study.

Long Abstract:

What is ‘migration’? Do we live in an ‘age of migration’, or ‘an age of borders’? Turning to these questions through an anthropological lens of analysis, SOAS MA Migration & Diaspora Studies students engaged creative research methods to trace borders not as lines at the edges of nation-states but through their everyday (after)lives. Through artistic modes of knowledge production students explored how policies, practices and technologies of bordering shape experiences of inhabiting the world across times and spaces, as well as how borders and bordering are resisted by individuals and in communities. These efforts formed the basis of students’ summative assessment submissions, which included illustration, collage, dance, photography, film, poetry, and short stories.

In this roundtable, students come together to consider their ‘project-based learning’ (Chappell et al, 2021) in conversation, engaging their resulting artworks from conception to fruition to reflect more broadly upon the possibilities - and challenges - of thinking beyond ‘traditional’ ethnographic methods of knowledge production, and towards creative modes of enquiry, analysis, and critique. What do creative methods bring to our abilities to sense, conceptualise, affectively engage, challenge, and imagine a world beyond borders? More broadly, what is the place of artistic processes within and towards learning communities, supporting more equitable and inclusive modes of academic knowledge production? Together, students explore ways in which artistic processes can expand, inform and enrich our ethnographic research; as well as support the decolonising efforts at the centre of our approach to the study of migration, and to ‘study’ more broadly.

Accepted contributions:

Session 1 Wednesday 8 March, 2023, -