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Breaching Borders: Art, Migrants and the Metaphor of Waste

Breaching Borders: Art, Migrants and the Metaphor of Waste

Edited by: Juliet Steyn, Nadja Stamselberg

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As migration is described as a problem, mobility is seen as a goal. In a 'Europe without Borders', a place that prides itself on multiculturalism while struggling with racism, two opposing paradigms characterise contemporary discussions surrounding migrants. Breaching Borders: Art, Migrants and the Metaphor of Waste aims to interrogate the familiar debates, evolving new textual and interdisciplinary approaches to European cultural policies and unmasking the assumptions of the essentialist identity politics that go undeclared at the borders of cultural discourse. Twelve leading figures in post-colonial and translation studies, political philosophy, art, radical aesthetics, policy-making and sociology, reflect on the political and cultural meanings of migration; their arguments framed by artworks that provide glimpses of cross-cultural encounters. Essays - including a meditation on "wasted lives" by internationally renowned academic Zygmunt Bauman - explore the challenges of migration, history and integration and attempt to develop radical new figurations of migrant identity, underlining the necessity of an imaginative reach towards "The Other".

This book brings together the roles of translation and of art in the central metaphor of waste - the trail of rubbish left behind by mechanisms of mobility; the excised narratives of wasted identities and people.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Migrants, Waste and Belonging Myth and History
Nadja Stamselberg and Juliet Steyn

Wasted Lives: Modernity’s Collateral Casualties
Zygmunt Bauman

The Role of Art in Imagining Multicultural Communities
Nikos Papastergiadis

Visions of Europe: the Ethics Behind the Aesthetics
Nadja Stamselberg

In the Hinterlands: Identity, Migration and Memory
Juliet Steyn

Transcultural Translation: Let’s Engage?
Karen Seago

When Art Migrates: Biennales and Itinerancy
Anthony Gardner and Charles Green

Global Capitalism, Racism and Contemporary Art
Marina Gržinic

The Life Boundary of Art
Richard Appignanesi

Network Economies of Waste
Peter Mörtenböck

Multicultural Spectres in the Crisis of European Citizenship
Sandro Mezzadra, translated by Giuseppe Mastruzzo

Foraging for Love
Christian Sørhaug

Author Info

Juliet Steyn is Senior Tutor for Research at the Centre for Cultural Policy and Management, City University, London. Nadja Stamselberg is lecturer in Cultural Studies Centre,Regents University, London.


‘This book breaks with any conventional notion of borders. It offers borders between and among people, among things, affects and truths; borders in space, in memory, in travel bags and personalities; borders proliferating, challenged and sustained. Artists in the midst of this, mediators across and inside a contested, creative but... violent and promiscuous cartography of European instability. Uncomfortable at home, but not at home, translated, not translated, art/not art, waste/value - this collection does not miss a trick.’
John Hutnyk, Professor at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths University of London

Breaching Borders is an exceptionally rich, diverse and challenging anthology that brings together those who are deeply involved and committed to rethinking assumptions of migrant identity as “waste” across many discourses, art practices, biennials, bioart, technology and disciplines.’
Janis Jefferies, artist, writer and curator, Professor of Visual Arts in the Department of Computing, Goldsmiths University of London, and Co-curator of the Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art 2013, Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou, China

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781780762593
Publication Date: 29 May 2014
Number of Pages: 272
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: 24 bw integrated

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