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Urban artivism and migrations. Disrupting spatial and political segregation of migrants in European cities

Abstract : In the political context of the European “refugee crisis”, what role does art, and in particular artivism, play in disrupting spatial and political segregation of migrants? Artivism –activism through art and by art- brings together very diverse forms of creations which share the political purpose of social change. In this article, I intend to present creative experiments which all bring into play questions of unequal political rights, in relation to migrants and citizens in European cities. First, I analyse the role that the urban space plays in contemporary artivism linked to migrations. Subsequently, I propose to lay out a corpus, which consists of an exploratory typology of artivist creations dealing with political rights in cities. Drawing on the analysis of several curatorial artivist platforms, I identify and document artivist creations (signs, architectural interventions, performances) that borrow from art, activism and social sciences, to disrupt urban and political segregation of migrants. The study concludes that artivist works may have a practical potential for political change and urban transformation, when they are ephemeral and “ordinary”, disrupting the materiality and representations of everyday urban realities.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 23, 2017 - 9:31:16 AM
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Sarah Mekdjian. Urban artivism and migrations. Disrupting spatial and political segregation of migrants in European cities. Cities, Elsevier, 2017, 77, pp.39-48. ⟨10.1016/j.cities.2017.05.008⟩. ⟨halshs-01541067⟩



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