Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Society for Cultural Anthropology
Of interest to: Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students
Primary Theme: Cities
Secondary Theme: Immigration/Migration/Citizenship
The idea that diverse experiences of movement shape subjectivity is espoused by scholars across migration, urban and transnational studies. Yet, theorizing and studying the processes of shaping subjects in motion and in relation to complex and changing objects and environments raises questions about the nature and coherence of these mobile subjects. The difficulties of doing research that not only follows but "moves with" subjects is apparent; how exactly might one move, physically, or imaginatively? What methods are suited to recognizing subjects and objects shaped by the very motions we engage as researchers? Which borders or shifts in environments are significant in determining the identity and coherence of these subjects and objects? The speakers on this panel offer diverse answers to these questions based on research that explores subject formation as it relates to the variable configurations of the "city" as a territory, a figure of community and politics, a phenomenological encounter and a dream-scape. The papers each engage art objects and art making as particularly productive to exploring the shifting terrain of the contemporary polis, showing diverse ways that working through art enables particularly relevant various ways of analyzing the processes of associating and shaping together subjects, objects and environments. One speaker explains how she collecting interviews on dreams and then combines walking, driving and painting to explores urban imaginations in the San Francisco Bay Area. A second presentator follows statues and their shifting meanings between Algeria and France following Algeria's Independence in 1962, showing how the thousands of statues erected by the French in Algeria continue to impacted not only imaginations and history, but urban form. An examination of the art collective Kunstasyl ("Art Asylum") and their collaboration with the Museum of European Cultures (MEK) in Berlin examines the ways in which the collaborations between local initiatives and Berlin-based museums might hold the potential to offer space for a critical investigation of various forms of mobility, manifestations of subject formation, and heritage-making in the city. A presentation on The Moving Matters Traveling Workshop (MMTW) extends the discussion about mobility and collaboration and the city by focusing on the way concepts and analyses from anthropological research have led to the creation of a community of serial migrant artists who seek to imaginatively engage ways of rendering and countering increasingly choreographic forms of power.