Togetherness in Difference: Reimagining identities, communities and histories through art
This project examines how contemporary art contributes to the frictional negotiations of identities, communities and histories currently evolving with the increasing multiethnicity and cultural diversity of Europe. Its two sub-projects focus on artistic and curatorial practices, respectively.
In times of fierce struggles over immigration and integration in Europe, when profound geopolitical shifts are restructuring the international power balances and transcultural relations of the world, this project explores how contemporary art can renegotiate identities and histories, and create new narratives of what national self-understanding, collective memory and social communities can be and embrace.
The idea of postmigration is central to the project. This concept holds that Europe has been irreversibly shaped by immigration since the mid-twentieth century, i.e. the concept relates to the ‘after’ (post-) effects of migration on society, not population movements as such. In recent years, this concept has paved the way for a new understanding of migration and diversity as integrated aspects of any society.
Specifically, this project focuses how artistic and curatorial practices can address the societal conflicts created by the need to learn how to live together in postmigrant conditions of socio-cultural diversity. It examines how they can facilitate democratically engaging forms of participation, and how they can enable dissension and differences to be negotiated within the sphere of art and beyond. Importantly, the project also considers how artistic and curatorial practices may contribute to greater inclusion and recognition of immigrants and their descendants as equal participants in democratic societies, e.g. by inventing new forms of visual representation and providing platforms from which to speak and for democratic forms of engagement. The project explores these issues through case studies primarily from Denmark, Germany and the UK.