Call for proposals for academics and artists

A World in Transition
In-between Performative Arts and Migration
curated by the Department of Sociology and Business Law of the University of Bologna

7 March 2019 | Bologna, Italy

The conference is hosted within the Atlas of Transitions Biennale 2019, a ten-days festival to discuss about new ways of perceiving public spaces and cohabitation between European citizens and asylum seekers and refugees organized by Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, in collaboration with the Department of Sociology and Business LawDepartment of Arts and Cantieri Meticci.

In a context of complex transitions, performative arts are not only physical and symbolic spaces of expression and artistic creation, but also and above all spaces of resistance, disruption and negotiation. The experiential and relational nature of performative arts are valid social and political transformation agents at the level of cultural uses, spatial organizations, identities. But the role of performative arts in shaping new social imageries, new forms of citizenship and new spaces of coexistence is particularly important in relation to migration. In fact, within a general situation where new forms of poverty, exclusion, social desegregation and gender inequalities are emerging, the relation between newcomers and local communities should be problematized and tackled through innovative and critical instruments. Among these, performative arts play a challenging and fundamental role.

The aim of the conference is to study, discuss, engage and co-construct knowledge about the role of performative arts within migration issues. Firstly, performative arts can provide innovative ways to represent migration, challenging conventional narratives and xenophobic rhetoric which depicts migrants as criminals or as mere victims, without any power to speak up. Secondly, artistic projects, intervening both on the socio-political and the esthetical dimension of the performance, can promote forms of empowerment, new capabilities, new hybrid identities. Moreover, intercultural forms of performance can have the effect not only in terms of social integration – a highly criticized concept in the last few years -, but also in terms of economic and political integration, giving voice to migrants and refugees while promoting intercultural dialogue.

The themes of analysis that we would like to explore are, although not limited to, those suggested below:

  • Performative arts, media and alternative narratives on migration
  • Political role of performative arts
  • Participatory practices, performative arts and community engagement
  • Theatre and urban space
  • Co-creation between arts and academic research

Full call for proposals here.