June 30 – July 2, 2020
Borders are vital features of our life, and bordering processes a substantial part of how we negotiate territory, access to space, goods, social status and belonging; in other words, our relationships to others and the environment in which we live.
Focusing on migration and the movement of people in and across time, space and social orders, sharpens our understanding of the complexity of borders, why they exist, to whom they matter and what it takes to perceive, navigate, cross or circumvent them. These navigations can look very different for people with speciﬁc backgrounds, pertaining to language, culture, race and, importantly, passport.
Previous conferences have looked into migration, the political, economic forces driving it, the ways it is patterned, administered and controlled by state border regimes, and the consequences migration has created for people who move and societies accommodating people on the move.
Following this line of enquiry, this conference proposes to zoom deeper into the migration experience of people by foregrounding how migration is being connected to culture. We suggest exploring the nexus of migration and culture in more depth asking how migration is lived, experienced, reﬂected in, and mediated, in particular, through cultural and artistic practice. We seek to investigate this lens as a way to deepen our understanding of the complexity and difference of migration experience , on the one hand, and the possibilities of connecting different migrant experiences and groups of people , on the other.
Luxembourg seems an ideal place to frame such a reﬂection. Being itself very small, Luxembourg beneﬁts from an economic mobility that is particularly high and diverse. More than half of the population are of second or third generation migrant background, reﬂecting the country’s past as a key player in the coal and steel industry. The country’s more recent success as a capital in ﬁnance and banking, and as an important political player promoting the European Union and running some of its major institutions has attracted a large number of a highly educated work force.
Situated at the heart of the Greater Region, including Luxembourg, France, Belgium and Germany, more than 180.000 people are crossing national borders with Luxembourg daily for work. While Luxembourg is, no doubt, a hub of mobility, the forms and experiences of mobility do vary greatly depending on the conditions of work and life.
This scenario allows us to understand some important issues in more depth:
✓ How are people involved in different forms of mobility (cross border workers, Luxembourgish residents, and newly arrived migrants) experience migration or ‘mobility for work’?
✓ What places and forms of ‘cultural encounter’ are created (or not) because of these mobilities?
✓ What meanings are circulated, negotiated, emerging in these ‘cultural encounters’?
✓ How do these experiences translate into forms of cultural and artistic practice? How are these experiences voiced, mediated and articulated through creative process (e.g. music, literature, ﬁlm, ﬁne and performing arts)?