Edited by Robert F. Barsky (Vanderbilt) and Marco Martiniello (FRS-FNRS & Université de Liège). Over the last years, artistic activities have found increasing interest among migration researchers because they prove to be a means of moving beyond ethnic differences towards narratives of identity and belonging that are more apt to capture the current post-migrant reality in many cities and countries. This issue contributes to that work by focusing on the cultural and artistic participation of migrants and descendants of migrants in a transatlantic perspective, and also on the spaces and the moments when this participation intersects with, and binds to, public forms of intercultural collective engagement, whether artistic, political, or both.Empirical and theoretical papers addressed some overriding questions, such as: what role do culture and the arts play in the lives of newcomers and descendants of migrants? Which cultural and artistic practices and forms of participation do newcomers and descendants of immigrants develop? How do cultural institutions take into account those publics often considered to be disengaged at the cultural and artistic level? Do these cultural practices contribute to creating bonds of solidarity between migrants and natives? And if so, what forms of political representation and collective engagement do they inspire? The papers included in this special issue present diverse but connected approaches to the broad themes of art and border crossings. 

Photo credit -- Sculpture by Susan Clinard, who writes: "I am captivated by the weight that these small sculptural objects hold. I intentionally made them small scale so that they would be held in one’s palm and intimately reflected upon. The Talisman boats are quiet meditative sketches; with no oars, no sails… they glide through life with purpose and strength.  Each boat is unique: as each person has a different story to tell and journey in front of them.

Published: 2021-02-02