L’Internationale Online is proud to present its fifth e-publication entitled Subjects and Objects in Exile.The decision to put together this fifth e-publication was prompted by the many tragic displacements, fates and deaths of those seeking asylum in Europe and elsewhere. These enforced mass exiles are the result of civil wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The appalling and dehumanising management by European powers of this situation is having worrying economic, cultural, political and juridical implications. Several authors reflect critically on the causes and effects of this management, as well as present inspiring cases of citizens’ self-organised welcoming practices. As a European confederation of museums, we respond by considering the role of migration in culture and heritage.

In this issue, which takes its title from a conversation between Wayne Modest, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, and Margareta von Oswald, commissioned texts look at the current situation in Europe through a prism of postcolonial, geopolitical and cultural viewpoints. At the centre of this e-publication is the project Mapping Collections, the data visualisation of the collections of the museums who are members of L’Internationale. Making visible the degree to which European heritage is informed by a history of the displacement of artists and artworks, is crucial today. It demonstrates the importance of offering refuge to those in need, as the exchange is not only one of helping, but also of mutual influence. At a time when walls are being built and border security is increasingly illogical, we feel it is important to remember the complex economy of migration, the values and benefits that openness and respect bring and their defining importance for Europe.

Other contributors to “Subjects and Objects in Exile” include Merve Bedir, John Byrne, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Adrian Lahoud, Ela Meh, Carlos Prieto del Campo, pantxo ramas, Oliver Ressler and November Paynter.