2nd June 2017
Opening Address: Professor Alison Phipps (University of Glasgow)
Recent political events such as last year’s referendum on Britain’s EU membership, the ongoing struggles about the influx of migrants arriving in Europe and legal restrictions imposed on their movements across borders require us to reconsider what “Europe” and its values actually mean. We are facing political pressures regarding the closing and opening of borders, economic imbalances between the European Union’s constituent countries, the rise of nationalist, xenophobic and populist movements; independence campaigns and struggles of ‘nations’ within nations; as well as controversies about migration and citizenship. These political urgencies propel us to rethink the representational regimes in which we operate on a daily basis and which play a crucial role for our ideas of nationhood, belonging and identity.
Borders in their various forms – whether regional, national, cultural, virtual, bureaucratic or linguistic – do not only function as a continuous political element in defining nations, they are also fatal sites of contestation and struggle. At the same time, however, many artistic interventions show that borders can become sites of resistance and gestures of solidarity especially for those whose bodies are arbitrarily made “illegal”. Theatre, performance and other contemporary arts practices continue to pose questions of national identity and seek to imagine and establish alternative spaces for thinking about borders and belonging.
This symposium seeks to explore such alternatives and to bring together different modes of thinking through borders and belonging, e.g., in theatre and interventionist performance, through artistic collaboration and community arts projects, via artistic research practice and affective ways of narration.
How do theatre makers and artists collaborate across borders and contest the current politics of exclusion? How are borders performed, and by whom? What are the ethical implications when borders become sites of contestation? What is at stake in narratives, images and stagings of border crossing bodies? What can performances of a post-national identity look like? What are the specific questions we need to address when talking about “European” identities and borders?
We welcome proposals for papers and artistic contributions that address, but are not limited to, the following topics
– Representations of borders, asylum seekers and refugees in visual art, theatre, dance and performance
– New definitions and alternative imaginaries of Europe, European centers and peripheries
– The language of Brexit; crisis and the rise of nationalisms
– Articulations of post-national identities in theatre and performance
– Cultural analyses of the third space, hybridity and/or belonging
– Re-imaginations of host and guest relations
– Border spaces as heterotopias and spaces of statelessness
Deadline for abstracts: 3rd April 2017
Please send your abstracts (max. 300 words) and a short biographical note to the two conference organizers Elizabeth Samara and Anika Marschall
Abstracts should be for talks or artistic contributions no longer than 20 minutes. Participants will be notified by 17 April 2017. We welcome proposals from artists and scholars at any stage of their career, including postgraduate students.