Constructing Local Belonging through Art and Activism in Context of Anti-Migration Politics, Stigmatisation and Gentrification: What Migration Studies can Learn from Belleville and Maddalena
Despite a decade of self-criticism, research perspectives on migration studies remain too often centred on national belonging (Glick Schiller & Çağlar 2011). Based on two empirical examples, self-organised fashion and music shows in Paris and Genoa, this article shows how “event lenses” can constructively replace “ethnic lenses” in the analysis of artivistic practices that aim at changing political situations and living conditions. Wearing “event lenses” also helps us to question supposed homogeneities and to investigate common civic or political practices and interests by emphasizing multiple belonging processes in various social situations (Yuval-Davis et al. 2006, 7). I show how the research perspective of migration studies can be guided by the complexity of migrants’ multiple belongings and by situational analysis. The article presents results from my ERC project “ARTIVISM. Art and activism. Creativity and Performance as Subversive Forms of Political Expression in Super-Diverse Cities”, guided by an event-centred approach and multi-sensory audio-visual ethnography. The Parisian district of Belleville and the Maddalena district of Genoa suffer both from negative stigmatisations related to informal economical practices. I show how the super-diverse populations in these marginalised but gentrifying spaces creatively reverse xenophobic stigmata, by valorising their biographies and multiple belongings through fashion shows.
Copyright (c) 2022 Monika Salzbrunn
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