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1st December

Migration and Location: Visual Media Research Conference

This inaugural conference titled ‘Migration and Location: Visual Media Research’, staged in the Project, Temple Bar, Dublin, constituted the first in a series of short and long-term public projects in the wider context of a School of Media, DIT initiative – Audio and Visual Transcultural Research: New Modes of Citizenship – a production-based comparative research project exploring everyday migrant identities and practices, offering a timely intervention into the cultural politics of media representation in an increasingly multiracial public sphere, both in and outside Ireland.

From digital video to documentary photography, radio and interactive media, the project asserts that the audio-visual study of migration and (dis)located identities provides new and innovative approaches to questions of home and belonging, to the changing conditions of place, locality and globalisation. What distinguishes this project from related research on the topic of migration is its privileging of practice-based scholarship as both a research tool for critical inquiry and an outlet for public exhibition. Committed to establishing close ties with transnational institutions, resulting in the creation of research clusters across the fields of visual media and the performing arts, visual/cultural anthropology and cultural studies, the project addresses the following research areas among others:

Race and the City: The Politics of Urban Space
Ethnicity, Capital and the Urban Political Economy
Linguistic Borderlands: Polyphony in the Global City
Migrant Narratives: Old and New
Mediated Identities: New Technologies/Ethnoscapes
Home-Making: Material Practice and Cultural Performance
Music and Migration: Acoustic Narratives
Migration and the Photographic Archive

The 'Migration and Location: Visual Media Research' conference comprised the presentation of an interdisciplinary range of work across diverse transnational contexts. This included film screenings, a photographic/video installation and informal discussion panels introducing visual anthropological studies already completed, in progress and in the initial development stage.

The underlying aim of the conference was both the formation of visual media research clusters surrounding the topic of migration, together with the subsequent initiation of collaborative institutional networks.

Conference Programme

Keynote Presentation:
‘Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking’ – Professor Hamid Naficy, Rice University, USA.

Installation: Moving Image, Photography and Anthropological Narrative:
Tunnel Kids – US/Mexico Border.
Maeve Hickey and Professor Larry Taylor, Department of Anthropology, National University of Maynooth.

Tunnel Kids: Installation explored the visual ethnographic research underlying the book Tunnel Kids (Hickey and Taylor, 2001). Documentary photography, the moving image and soundscape combined, offering a critical reflection on the dialectical space of the borderzone of Nogales, Mexico/USA and the research methodologies practiced by both writer/cultural anthropologist Lawrence Taylor and artist/photographer Maeve Hickey.

*See interview (pdf) conducted by Aine O’Brien and Alan Grossman with Lawrence Taylor and Maeve Hickey, ‘Writing the Visual’.

Film Screenings and Presentations:
Mali Film Project – Professor Awam Amkpa, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU.
La Memoire Dure – Rossella Ragazzi, University of Tromsø.
Nigerian Video Film – Professor Onookome Okome, University of Calibar, Nigeria.
Injustice – Ken Fero, Migrant Media, London.
Migrant Show Reel from Bologna Archive – Guilia Grassili, Bologna Cineteca and Centre for Migration Studies, Sussex University.
Chain Camera: Migrant Diaries – Joel Venet, Pilton Video, Edinburgh.

Photography: Work in Progress:
Migration, Photography and the Archive – Roberta McGrath, Napier University, Edinburgh.
Disputed Territory: Northern Ireland/Bosnia/Kosovo – Anthony Haughey, DIT.

Interactive and Sound Technologies:
Immigrant Vehicle – Mick O’Kelly, National College of Art and Design, Ireland.
Immigrants in Europe – Iroh Anaele Adis, Dundalk, Ireland.
Testimony, Migration and the Digital Archive – Centre for Migration Studies, UCC, Ireland.

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