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Shadows of the Dawn: Migration and the Indeterminacy of Community and Immunity


Project description

Phase 1:    INVISIBLE THEATRE (fall and winter)

- where the stranger's gesture  resonates in our own –

This Research Symposia Series builds on the research activities and expertise of the members of the Transcultures-Survival (Hosts and Guests) Research Cluster that worked on several strands of investigation during the 2016-17 academic year, including migration, war, and trans-border cultural work.

The central aim of the proposal is to incite debate and knowledge exchange between fields  – social works, education, human geography, political science, ethnography, theatre, media and arts) – on pressing question regarding notions of imagined communities (originally argued in 1983 by Benedict Anderson) during the current resurgence of ethno-nationalism exemplified by the election of Donald Trump and Britain voting to leave the European Union. The objectives are to create two day-long seminars for speakers, filmic and performative presentations considering two interlaced thematic focal points that deal with community and immunity.

(1)Natural History of Migration/Immunity and Biopolitics/Racism and Patriotism

(2)Security, Nationness, Ethno-futurism, and the Theatre of Resistance,

This is a conceptual research proposal, experimental in nature, and therefore it does not have all the answers yet. The proposed work is connected to research activities of members of the Transcultures Cluster and the research goals of the Welfare Health and Wellbeing Theme Group (Institute of Environment, Health and Societies) but also addresses pertinent political-cultural concerns as well as interdisciplinary collaboration strategies. These collaboration techniques, across the disciplines at Brunel and across universities and cultural organizations in the UK and abroad, are to be tested, created and developed. We understand them as resonating gestures.

The research context is migration: key questions brought to the crisis in Europe are concerns over biopolitical processes, populism, racism, and exploitative capitalism, while we are seeking for counter-histories  or counter-narratives of care, welfare and pastoralism.

The planned activities are two-fold: they comprise scholarly presentations (papers) and practice-based performances or fieldwork demonstrations (film) to be presented over two day-long symposia in April and June 2018.

The format and compositional method of the Series are intended to be provocative and innovative as well:  curatorial propositions for the concluding symposium at the end of the academic year will be solicited from the invited guests of earlier invisible phase and the first seminar.

Phase 2: Public Engagement / Visible Theatre


            Sympsoium 1  in April 2018  [[13th Friday 2018]

            Symposium 2  in June 2018 [Friday  22nd June 2018]

            14:oo – 21:oo  /  Artaud Performance Centre