About the Network

Responding to Crisis: Forced Migration and the Humanities in the Twenty-First Century

Through a series of international workshops and events, our network, funded by the AHRC, will create ‘contact zones’ where artists, activists and academics can come together and formulate interventionist models of critical and creative work in response to the unfolding ‘crisis’ in contemporary forced migration.

The UNHRC reports that global displacement is currently at its highest since World War two. Since the turn of this century alone, tens of thousands have dies trying to reach Europe. This is a crisis not only of geopolitics, but also of values. Often unrecognised and unaccounted for, these deaths demand a response not just from governments, advocacy groups and political institutions, but also from those concerned with narrative, representation and the arts. The arts and humanities have a vital role to play in shaping our responses to current levels of forced displacement. We look to the arts not only for an understanding of who we are and how we relate to others, but also for the kind of society we want to live in. What role do the arts and humanities play in this critical and all too deathly context? How do we interpret, represent and conceptualise forced migration in the twenty-first century, and how do criticism and the arts play an active role in political transformation?

We aim to:

  • Impact positively on migrant’s lives by deploying the arts and humanities to transform public attitudes and inform policies
  • Facilitate a dialogue between different disciplines and stakeholders with the ‘necropolitics’ of migration, drawing on interconnections between postcolonial studies and social praxis
  • Analyse the place of the Mediterranean as a visible site of the current failure(s) (geopolitical, cultural and ethical-human)
  • Develop new methodological modes of collaborative response which draw on the creative energies od interdisciplinary working, including new creative works
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