Oral and Visual Memories of People Carrying the Status of ‘Migrant’ in Italy and the Netherlands: Ethical, Terminological and Cultural Reflections – Wednesday 26 October, European University Institute, Florence
Lecture in the framework of the History Departmental Colloquium, European University Institute, Florence – Wednesday 26 October at 15:30
This presentation is based on the ongoing European Research Council Project “Bodies Across Borders: Oral and Visual Memory in Europe and Beyond”, located at the Department of History and Civilization, European University Institute, Florence.
The project combines various directions of research (cultural history, cultural geography, memory studies, as well as gender and visual studies) concerning the construction of emerging forms of European memory and identity. Among those is the survey and analysis of products by visual artists on working on topics of migration to Europe. Selected works are presented to migrants in the course of individual and collective interviews. The interviewees are then requested to produce in their turn visual images of their migration itineraries, through the media of photography, drawing and video.
The resulting documentation of oral and visual memories involves numerous scientific and ethical problems, among which the question of terminology regarding the process of mobility towards Europe and the typification of heterogeneous groups of people as “migrants” and “refugees.” The critical assessment of these problems is the intellectual contribution that we as researchers can give to the present European situation, labelled by the media as “the migrant crisis”. The BABE research project being midway, it will be presented as work-in-progress, evidencing the problems of collection and interpretation as well as of archiving and disseminating our results
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