EASA2018: Staying, Moving, Settling

Art and Nativism [Anthropology and the Arts Network]
Date and Start Time [TBD] at [TBD]
Sessions [TBD]


  • Jonas Tinius (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) email
  • Roger Sansi (Universitat de Barcelona) email

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Discussant Prof Manuela Bojadžijev (Leuphana University of Lüneburg)

Short abstract

Over the last years, we witnessed a spread of nativist movements across the globe. Reacting to perceived threats of migration and globalisation, they frequently stress nation and belonging. What can we learn from the relations between art, identity, and mobility to think through such movements?

Long abstract

Over the last years, we have been witnessing a growth (and return) of nativist populist political movements across the globe. These movements react against perceived threats of globalisation, migration, and foreign influence.

Art is central to nativism. Like any political movement, nativism needs to perform and represent itself, to create images, myths, and rituals. The objective of this panel is to address the intersection of art and nativism.

While anthropologists have studied nativism for a long time (Linton 1940), they have mostly been concerned with ´minority' and 'native' populations whose cultural practices and societies were perceived to be under threat from, usually, Euro-American colonial and capitalist populations. Nowadays, paradoxically, nativist movements are spreading amongst the very white Euro-American populations that in the past were threatening these other 'native' societies. However, even if nativism today is commonly associated with anti-immigration right-wing movements, left-wing anti-globalisation movements also mobilise nativist arguments.

This panel proposes to think about nativism through art. Activist art has been associated with left-wing, liberal, and cosmopolitan politics, in theory the opposite of nativism, but often cosmopolitan art has been fascinated with native, minority, and "local" politics ("the ethnographic turn") in opposition to globalisation. But what is the relation between activist art and decolonial indigenous movements today? And new European nationalist movements? How do artistic practices intervene in the tense relation between migration, nativism, and citizenship; staying, moving, and settling? We invite papers from any ethnographic context willing to address these questions boldly and without prejudice.

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