European University Institute Bodies across borders: oral and visual memory in Europe and beyond
Bodies across borders: oral and visual memory in Europe and beyond

Iris van Huis and Leslie Hernández Nova, 22 November 2017, Florence

Lectures in the framework of the History Department Research Colloquium
Introduction by Luisa Passerini (BABE Principal Investigator)
  • Iris van Huis (BABE Research Associate), Counter-Images in Refugee Artwork: Studying (Artistic) Visual Memories of Migration that Resist Dominant (Anti-Immigrant) Discourse and Governmentality,
  • Leslie Nancy Hernández Nova (BABE Research Associate), Multi-Cultural Belongings In Today’s Europe. Visuality of Memory in Transcultural Experiences of Migration
Iris van Huis, Counter-Images in Refugee Artwork
Visual representations of migration, produced by migrants/refugees, can offer counter-narratives to dominant discourses, including stereotypical, stigmatizing images of migrants. In this paper she analyses images that are produced by refugees, artists and non-artists, who portray memories of their (mostly 2014-2016) migration to Europe and specifically to the Netherlands. She studies which memories are represented, what (political) messages are conveyed and how these images engage with feelings and experiences of (non-)belonging to Europe, to the Netherlands, countries of origin and/or beyond. She analyses enabling and normalizing/normificating and resisting angles of these representations (Foucault 1977; Goffman 1963). Images that were generated in the research on the request of the researcher, as well as “found images” that refugee migrants (artists) were already creating are included, with the aim to represent agency of refugees as well as “voice” and show narratives and images that would otherwise remain untold and unseen. Oral memories remain important, as they offer clear “evoked images” in our minds (van Huis & van der Haar 2015), and provide necessary context by which to understand migration as complex processes.  
Leslie Nancy Hernández Nova, Multi-Cultural Belongings In Today’s Europe.
This paper will reflect on the methodological issues arising from the dialogue between different visual expressions of inter-subjectivity and cultural memory collected during the fieldwork of the Babe Project. Taking as a starting point visual representations of “place of origin” and cultural belongings carried out by some migrants and artists from Peru in Italy, she will analyze three categories that describe main visual trends (or iconography of cultural memory) found in the visual materials between peruvian witnesses: chronology of personal history (colonial past), touristic language and representation of landscape.