Academic Session 15: Loughborough 2017

43rd Annual Conference & Art Book Fair
Loughborough University
6th to 8th April 2017

Home, Exile and the Politics of Belonging


Maria Photiou, University of Derby,

Over the past few decades it has been noted that a growing number of artists are migrating for better job opportunities and to experience different cultures. For some, their migration is a forced displacement caused by political, religious, or military confrontations. This session will examine how the concepts of ‘home’, ‘exile’ and ‘belonging’ can be used to contextualise contemporary art practices and visual culture. The session seeks to explore artists’ experiences of borders (both physical and psychological), locations and narrations of homeland (both ‘lost’ and existing). This session takes its lead from Hamid Naficy’s statement (in Home, Exile, Homeland, 1999: 4) that exile ‘thrives on detail, specificity, and locality’, and investigates how the three associated concepts (house, home and homeland) are represented in contemporary global art.

It also seeks to interrogate how the act of representing homeland (real or imagined) serves as a reminder of exile and constructs a politicised action of questioning and challenging issues on culture, borders, history, citizenship, identity, displacement and belonging. The session aims to provide a platform for reflection, discussion and debate about the experiences of exile and belonging. These debates will establish a dialogue about how conditions and accounts resonate, relate, and differ from one another in local and global situations. Papers presented in this session will explore the ways in which politicised narrations of home emerge as visual interventions of history, memory, belonging, longing, and understanding of homeland.

Click here to download a .pdf of this session's paper abstracts

Joel Robinson (The Open University) Exhibiting the ‘Arrival City’: Confronting the Migration Crisis at the Architecture Biennale

Carol Que (University of Oxford) Speculative Homelands in Larissa Sansour’s Video Essays

Lydia Wooldridge (University of Bristol) (t)ex(t)ile: Exploring Transnational Identities through Cloth

Friederike Voigt (National Museums Scotland) The Earth of Iran: Ideas of Homeland in Contemporary Iranian Art

Vivian Kuang Sheng (University of Manchester) Mona Hatoum’s Construction of ‘Home’: Connections and Conflicts

Sarah Fox (Carleton University) Deciphering Home Through Hajra Waheed’s Archival Investigations

Eva Zetterman (University of Gothenburg) Homeland, Displacement, Belonging: Against historical amnesia of the U.S.-Mexico border in performance projects by Guillermo Gomez-Peña

Etolia-Ekaterini (Eliana) Martinis (Ionian University, Greece) Katerina Hariati-Sismani (1911-1996) and her Drawings of Women in Exile