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Essays in Migratory Aesthetics

Cultural Practices Between Migration and Art-making

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This volume addresses the impact of human movement on the aesthetic practices that make up the fabric of culture. The essays explore the ways in which cultural activities—ranging from the habitual gestures of the body to the production of specific artworks—register the impact of migration, from the forced transportation of slaves to the New World and of Jews to the death camps to the economic migration of peoples between the West and its erstwhile colonies; from the internal and external exile of Palestinians to the free movement of cosmopolitan intellectuals. Rather than focusing exclusively on art produced by those identified as migrant subjects, this collection opens up the question of how aesthetics itself migrates, transforming not only its own practices and traditions, but also the very nature of our being in the world, as subjects producing, as well as produced by, the cultures in which we live. The transformative potential of cultures on the move is both affirmed and critiqued throughout the collection, as part of an exploration of the ways in which globalisation implicates us ever more tightly in the unequal relations of production that characterise late modernity. This collection brings academic scholars from a variety of disciplines into conversation with practising visual and verbal artists; indeed, many of the essays break down the distinction between artist and academic, suggesting a dynamic interchange between critical reflection and creativity.

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