Notes and Changes

This is an external event

This symposium is part of the 'Who are We' Programme at Tate Exchange, and is based on a collaboration between the Dead Reckoning art project by Bern O'Donoghue and the Crossing the Med research project led by Dr Vicki Squire, University of Warwick. The symposium will bring together diverse constituencies to discuss the significance of re-learning migration or mobility through doing, creating, speaking and sharing, and will include interventions on the significance of the Dead Reckoning / Crossing the Med installation from academics, artists, faith and community groups.

People on the move are often viewed with fear and suspicion on the part of ‘host’ communities. Despite a broad range of political and social responses to the so-called European refugee ‘crisis’, a security-orientated concern with ‘foreigners’ has come to dominate public and political debate. Meanwhile, efforts to construct different ways of talking about the issue appear to have failed to capture public imaginations. For instance, a humanitarian approach has been co-opted by the security agenda and is reproached from various angles as either ‘too soft’ and idealistic, or as victimising people on the move in precarious conditions. This raises the question as to how alternative imaginaries and responses can be forged that are grounded in respect for the dignity of all lives, including those people who are rendered precarious through movement.

Rather than addressing the question of how alternative approaches to migration or mobility can be forged with reference to different narratives and discourses, this symposium seeks to explore diverse ways of engaging with precarious movement by focusing on the importance of creative mediums and tools of interaction. Developing out of a close engagement with the collaborative installation Dead Reckoning / Crossing the Med, the symposium will consider the affective and conceptual power of artistic creativity, dialogue, and story-sharing in opening up new ways for ‘host’ communities to relate to people on the move in precarious situations.

Spaces are limited, please book early to avoid disappointment and cancel your place if you cannot attend to make space for others. If you have any very urgent questions about this event, please contact