Art & Refugees Symposium
April 6th, 2017 Indiana University Bloomington
This day-long symposium will investigate the complex intersection of art and refugees by combining scholarship, performance, practice, and an art installation. The symposium views art as a social and political agent and as an illustration of human struggles and accomplishments. Symposium participants will explore the refugee situation alongside an array of artistic expressions, as well as the artists, sociopolitical contexts, analytic frameworks, and global trends from which art about refugees is created and defined. And, in so doing, participants will explore the refugee experience through multiple lenses, from the political and cultural, to the aesthetic, economic, intimate, and historic. As the Bloomington community will be welcoming 60 Syrian refugees this March, this is a timely topic and some participants will be asked to consider this issue from a local perspective. The symposium’s overall goal is to use art as an entry point to more meaningfully and intimately understand the experience of refugees. Symposium events will include two panels: Refugees, Art, and Rethinking Geographies and Displacement, Stories, and Refugee Policy. A multi-media performance from the creator of Moses Man: Finding Home, a story of a Holocaust survivor that is now being adapted to incorporate the current refugee crisis, will bridge past and present stories of displacement (http://mosesmanthemusical.com/videos). Charlotte Schmitz, a German photographer, will present an interactive outdoors installation of polaroids she took of (and with) refugees upon their arrival in Europe (http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/14/world/cnnphotos-refugee-polaroids/).