Next Article in Journal
Australian Indigenous Art Innovation and Culturepreneurship in Practice: Insights for Cultural Tourism
Previous Article in Journal
Patterns of Style, Diversity, and Similarity in Middle Orinoco Rock Art Assemblages
Previous Article in Special Issue
Artists from Syria in the International Artworld: Mediators of a Universal Humanism
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Harnessing Visibility and Invisibility through Arts Practices: Ethnographic Case Studies with Migrant Performers in Belgium

CEDEM—Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Liege, Bâtiment 31 Boîte 24 Quartier Agora—Place des Orateurs, 3 4000 Liège, Belgium
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 1 April 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arts and Refugees: Multidisciplinary Perspectives)
  |  
PDF [2805 KB, uploaded 4 April 2019]
  |  

Abstract

This paper endeavors to understand the role of arts in migration-related issues by offering insights into the different ways in which artistic practices can be used by migrants and investigating migrants’ differing objectives in participating in the arts. Through the exploration of the initiatives of undocumented and refugee migrants involved in artistic groups in Belgium, this paper compares the motivations of the performers and concludes that art can operate as an empowering tool for migrants as it constitutes a space for agency, notwithstanding the specific scope of which it is contextually charged. It allows migrants to render themselves visible or invisible, depending on their contrasting motivations. The creative productions of the first group, composed by members of “La Voix des sans papiers de Liège”, a collective of undocumented migrants, corresponds to an explicit effort of political engagement in the local context. The other examples are of undocumented and refugee artists joining musical groups with no specific aim of promoting the cause of undocumented and refugee persons. The choice to be involved in such groups highlights their desire to be, in some ways, invisible and anonymous while participating in this collective of artists. Through these examples, we see that art offers opportunities for migrants to actively participate in the socio-cultural and political environment in which they reside and to claim various forms of official and unofficial belonging whether it occurs through visibility or invisibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: arts; migration; Belgium arts; migration; Belgium
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Damery, S.; Mescoli, E. Harnessing Visibility and Invisibility through Arts Practices: Ethnographic Case Studies with Migrant Performers in Belgium. Arts 2019, 8, 49.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Arts EISSN 2076-0752 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top