This autumn, The Yorkshire Sculpture Park hosts a collaborative exhibition by artist and academic, Nishat Awan. Migrant Narratives of Citizenship: A Topological Atlas of European Belonging is a video installation presenting a collection of digital maps which follow the European borders and trace the route of the refugee crisis.
Working alongside artist Cressida Kocienski, Awan has developed a timely piece that explores the representation of states through the use of maps and examines how citizens and non-citizens are separately defined. The video installation narrates stories of migrant journeys and border crossings, visualising Europe through spaces of transit and people on the move. Awan’s work, which is supported by strong academic research, focuses on the intersection of geo-politics and the space we live in – specifically expressing topics of migration and diasporas.
Throughout a four-day period of the exhibition, an accompaniment of live debates will take place. The event welcomes refugees, academics and non-governmental organisation representatives to participate in a discussion of current migration issues. The aim of this engaging event is to present an accurate representation of the refugee crisis by exploring the topic from all angles – sharing the thoughts and opinions of range of different people who are each effected differently by the migration.
Creating an immersive experience, the artist’s installation invites YSP visitors to involve themselves in a thought-provoking discussion of real-life political events – encouraging them to step into someone else’s shoes and visualise things from an alternative perspective.
Nishat Awan, Migrant Narratives of Citizenship: A Topological Atlas of European Belonging, until 27 November, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, WF4 4LG. For more information, visit www.ysp.co.uk
1. Nishat Awan, Odessa. Courtesy the artist. Photo Nishat Awan