The APRA Foundation Berlin Multi-Disciplinary Fellow 2021
Project Proposal: Prejudice – The Migrant Dilemma: Mirror or Mirage
This project focuses on the figure of the migrant as a key figure on contemporary politics in Western democracies. The aim of the research is to navigate around the communicational and symbolic layers that build up this imagined self to locate it as one of the most complex protagonists of our time. The outcome of the project will be a 3-chapter essay book, as well as a script to develop a participatory documentary film with migrants living in refugee camps in Greece.
The project seeks to contribute in sorting out a growing territory of political antagonisms and cultural prejudices through a critical assessment of the key concepts at play. The book will develop a discussion in contemporary political philosophy to set up the current understanding of the phenomenon. Following insights from the late Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Julia Kristeva, Judith Butler and Christoph Menke, it aims at understanding – through an analysis of the symbolic economy of the other – the most blatant underlying mechanisms of cultural anxiety. It will also study how right-wing channels of communication (digital newspapers and social media outlets) produce prejudiced and openly racist materials that are argumentatively flawed, nevertheless effective within a highly polarized digital political field. Finally, it will explore how the ability to open up to migration actually serves a wider democratic objective, since it prefigures an exchange with culturally diverse individuals in ways that challenge and enrich the constitution of political selves.
The project includes the development of a script for a participatory documentary film, seeking to work with migrants and refugees living in Greece towards the production of self-portraits in which a given livelihood can be presented as a form of political self-assertion, offering thus a first-hand, intimate and complex counter-narrative against simplistic representations.