Part I – PERSPECTIVES ON HOSPITALITY
Mostly informed by social science perspectives, elaborating on notions such as cosmopolitanism, the philosophy of exile, language, and media representation from a variety of perspectives i.e. feminist, political, human rights, environment, etc. Is hospitality a utopia, a form of “madness” in times of conservative extremism, or could hospitality engender greater understanding and respect? What role do the media play? What is the importance of “migration studies” and is it possible to understand the present as it happens?
FATANEH FARAHANI – “Hospitality and Hostility in an Era of Displaced Responsibility”
In the face of seemingly endless wars and violence, we witness not only continuing arrivals of uprooted people from global south to global north but also sustained political changes. Host contexts and hosting practices are in a stage of permanent flux as the global conditions are at the critical phase of unrest. This presentation is based on a newly started project, Cartographies of hospitality, which aims to examine the political, philosophical, cultural, experiential and material aspects of hospitality through empirical locality-based research. Being attentive to how discourses and practices of hospitality vary between and within different local and national communities, the study focuses on how host and guests relations are inflected by nation, religion, gender, class and other categories of difference. In an era of increased transnational migration and ‘postcolonial hospitality’ (Rosello 2002), ‘welcoming’ someone into one’s home does not necessarily destabilize one’s privilege; it can also manifest it. Therefore, by challenging the displacement of responsibility and rhetoric of white generosity, the project aims to not only examine governmental hostile practices but also how they are presented as necessary.
Part II – MEDIATING HOSPITALITY
The significance of history and geography vis-à-vis the notion and practice of hospitality, media strategies in documenting displacement, social movements and new nationalisms. The role of the media in documenting displacement, how the media is portraying conflict, as well as media as a node of connectedness – media as lifeline to displaced peoples and emancipation but also as a second home for nationalist fundamentalists.
JONATHAN CORPUS ONG – “Belonging after the Storm: Compulsory Cosmopolitanism and Queer Recoveries”
This paper reflects on the significance of cosmopolitan socialities and intimacies following disasters, and the opportunities and risks they offer for restorative and reparative action for survivors and their communities. Reporting in particular on the experiences of LGBTQ Filipinos in post-Haiyan Tacloban, I discuss how dating platforms such as Tinder and Grindr were used to forge friendships and romance with foreign visitors, and creating extraordinary, if unintended, consequences to personal and social life. Cosmopolitan socialities were embraced by LGBTQs for their potentials for the sharing and repurposing of wounds after rupture, especially in a conservative small-town context where LGBTQ identities have been historically repressed. This paper argues for the transgressive potentials of mediated cosmopolitan intimacies often regarded as frivolous or taboo.
REBECCA BENGTSSON – “Lost at sea? Mediating spaces of hospitality in times of crisis”
The 2015 so-called Refugee Crisis was intensely reported in 2015 and the ‘refugee boat’ became the icon of the crisis. The advancement of media technology allowed for 24/7 live coverage of search and rescue missions on the sea. The spectacular events of crisis – the isolated, overcrowded boat, the life-threatening attempts of the refugees or the heroic efforts of the rescue personnel as well as public initiatives such as the Refugees Welcome movement became the focus of media reporting, overshadowing the human made aspects – the structures and politics of migration policies. The reports leave migrants voiceless and reduced to homogenous group.
CHRISTIAN CHRISTENSEN – “Overcoming Information Precarity: Smartphones as Tools for Newly-Arrived Refugees and Migrants”
In recent years, hundreds of thousands of refugees have left their homes in search of sanctuary in Europe. For many, the smartphone is an invaluable tool: from aiding communication during the journey from their homes, to obtaining information upon arrival at their destination. Understanding the use of smartphones by refugees and migrants is important for a number of reasons. First, it allows for a nuanced examination of media use that goes beyond narrow, ethnocentric understandings of engagement with technology as linked only to entertainment, consumption or democratic participation (thus missing the everyday “survival” function offered by the smartphone); second, it provides data on the use of media technology by members of society usually bypassed in traditional research and popular examinations: newly-arrived migrants and refugees; finally, the research is important as it sheds light upon the specific elements of social/political/economic life that refugees and migrants might identify as “precarious,” and where technology can serve as a bridge or aid.
Part III – EXPERIENCING HOSPITALITY, how is hospitality performed, experienced, documented, designed, and narrated? What are the material articulations, artistic and curatorial strategies practiced by cultural actors, activists, designers, and institutions in regards to narratives of diaspora? Cities are repositories of memories and life narratives, but once destroyed or evacuated, what happens to the memory of the city held by displaced peoples? What are the politics and representations of remembrance? Curators discuss their artistic strategies and the archives they have been curating in relation to the representation and articulation of migration, diaspora, and archives. Design and architectural historians discuss the materiality of migration and the impact of hospitality on urban form.
TOMAS RAFA – “Artist as Activist. Video as a Form of Communication”
The focus of the presentation would be on social change and the connection between artistic activities and recent changes in Europe. Tomas Rafa’s projects tackle the pressing and shameful problem of nationalism, which adopts different faces in various European countries.
ERIK BERGGREN | KONSTANTIN EKONOMOU – “Is This the Time for Art?”
The Museum of Forgetting is a nomadic platform run by Erik Berggren and Kosta Economou that creates art exhibitions and opens up space for critical reflection and debate. Since 2007, “the museum” has worked with themes such as war, America inside, Arabic cartoons, fact and fiction in art and politics, gold mining and migration, in several sites in Sweden, and in Athens, Beirut, Limerick and Berlin. In their presentation they will discuss their curatorial strategies and reflect on the relationship between art and politics. Their current project Is This the Time for Art? which address Europe’s politics of borders and surveillance. The project has been pursued as a curatorial investigation to figure out aesthetically and ethically how to represent the politically unrepresented and how to exhibit an ongoing and man-made catastrophe. Who should be mobilized – the migrant in a distant detention center or the traditional art audience? What is the status of the art space, and the street outside, when both places seem embroiled in exclusionary logics? What artistic strategies becomes relevant in relation to the risks and possibilities of worn out and/or ameliorating images, of identification and utopianism versus hard hitting realism and critical stances?
UNICORN – artists in solidarity – “Together we dare more”
All over the world we notice artists being put under pressure, and the possibilities for artists to work are being undercut by governments or other oppressive structures. We will talk to you about how and why we are developing a residency program in Malmö with the aim to give refuge to artists at risk. We believe it is important to act in solidarity, share experiences and strategies with colleagues, as well as support artists who are in need of citizenship and hospitality.
ABIR BOUKHARI – “The Museum of Preserving City”
In the ongoing curatorial project The Museum of Preserving City, Boukhari is exploring the many layers of a city, its history and memory. Every city has its own story, created by its inhabitants and filtered through their realities, everyday struggles, pains, dreams and hopes. In The Museum of Preserving City the story is focused at Damascus, the city that is known as one of the oldest in the world. It was here that Boukhari was born, raised and where she lived with her family. She observed the many phases of the city until the war made it impossible to stay, making it one of the most dangerous places in the world, tormented by the brutalities of the war. The project includes artworks from different phases: the past, the recent past, the present and visions about future. as an archive made by artists who have experienced the city. The archive consists of artworks from a variety of media and is an attempt to build a conceptual artistic archive of Damascus for those who are interested in understanding the creative point of view of artists before and during the war.
PART IV – HOSPITABLE FUTURES focuses on life after displacement and the place of hospitality in current educational and artistic strategies at home and abroad.
JON BRUNBERG – “Activity: Art”
In the fall of 2015, the Swedish Government assigned extra funds to the ten members of the National Organisation of Educational Associations (Folkbildningsförbundet), earmarked for providing activities focusing on language-learning and information about Swedish society for the growing numbers of asylum applicants entering the country. These associations – Studieförbunden – managed to start up hundreds of study circles in a short time, reaching tens of thousands of asylum seekers and engaging several hundreds of volunteers as study circle leaders in the process forming loose-knit activist networks. In his presentation Jon Brunberg talks about his experiences from a year with that educational movement as one of the leaders of the “Art and Drawing” study circle at an asylum seeker accomodation centre in southern Stockholm.
ANUSHA CAROLINE ANDERSSON – “Historieberättarna – A Storytelling Project”
The Swedish organization Historieberättarna (“Storytellers”) has throughout 2015 been working with unaccompanied refugee children and youth living in Sweden. The create storytellingworkshops wich takes place in housing/camps for refugee children and youth and provides them with a safe place where they can discover their own voices and express their stories, thoughts and feelings in creative ways, with focus on the respect of democratic rules and the diversity in the room. The project will be working throughout the process with the ambition to create a ripple effect with storytelling and that the refugee children and youths stories will be spread and listened to but also the art of making short animation films. Historiberättarna is ecomically supported bu the city of Stockholm, Stockholm County Council and and is in the process of starting up a collaborative storytelling project with Danmark and Greece supportet by Creative Europe – European commision wich is based on Historieberättarnas method.
JASPER DE RYCKER and PER HÜTTNER – “Riding the Donkey Backwards in Monochrome”
Humor opens up opportunities for people to relate to traumatic experiences that they otherwise would not be able to relate to. Vision Forum develops new ways to work with refugees in Europe who are held back in their personal development by memories of traumatic experiences in their home country and during the flight to Europe. Within the framework of three workshops performance artists, refugees, psychologists and teachers will together develop new skills, new audiences and new artistic expressions. The project brings together a group of artists working with performance art and with an interest in humor, with a group of refugees from Afghanistan and Mauritania. Refugees and artists will work together with experienced teachers who have long experience of working with refugees and who also have solid knowledge of humor and the contemporary art scene.