The Figure of the Migrant and a Lithuanian Attempt to Escape from Herself

(The case of Sigita Maslauskaitė-Mažylienė)

  • Basia Nikiforova Lithuanian Culture Research Institute

Abstract

For those engaged in the visual arts, the notion of the border is not just a physical reality imposed on the landscape by historical circumstances and political forces; it is also the subject of imagination, representation and visualization. For European artists, how migration, refugees and new ethnic and religious communities continue to develop is of particular importance. This essay examines the relativities between the so-called re-territorialization of borders and their materialized visual image. In doing so it seeks to reflect the balance between claims of difference and sameness, and also the dynamics that exist between dominant perceptions and self-representations of the refugees themselves. Over the last decade the notion of border has been fixed and consolidated in the artistic consciousness, especially how this phenomenon – barrier, walls or fences – can divide. With the crisis of mass migration in recent years, there has been an accompanying sense of dread, horror, a fear of death and the loss of family. The experience and ideas of the Lithuanian artist, Sigita Maslauskaitė-Mažylienė, is useful because it sheds light on the interconnections between new discourses and art practices, and may help us to better understand how Lithuanian people perceive the process of migration and its accompanying problems and issues.

Published
2020-08-22
Section
Essays