Migration, commonsense and culture

9 June 2016


Venue: Hackney Archives, Level 2 of Dalston CLR James Library Dalston Square E8 3BQ

Organiser: Giorgia Doná and George Shire

Giorgia Doná is an Italian psychologist who has worked with refugees in Central America and Eastern Africa. She teaches forced migration and refugee studies at the University of East London. George Shire is Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Art, Bergen Academy of Art and Design, and member of the editorial board of Soundings, a journal of politics and culture and Dark Matter, a journal of post-coloniality, race and culture.

This conversation will start with remarks provoked by this moment in history to which participants are invited to respond. Gramsci’s idea of commonsense – the taken for granted in the everyday - will be used to examine questions of migration provoked by ongoing events in the Mediterranean.

Discourses about migration in Europe revolve around borders, control, exclusion and inclusion, openness and shared humanity. Understanding the ways in which commonsense works will help us to break down and to articulate these dissonant myths that exist around migration, and to make more visible how commonsense is a site of struggle.

The conversation will also revolve around sites of culture and the way in which questions of representation in the visual have re-emerged in the light of the Mediterranean emergency.