Movement, Migration and Refugees NUBS 2.03
Jul 05, 2023 13:30 - 15:00(Europe/London)
20230705T1330 20230705T1500 Europe/London 4.3. Documenting and dramatizing migrant memory NUBS 2.03 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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Decolonisation and Anglicisation in Home Away from Home (1992) by Sankofa: Rootlessness and non-belonging
Individual paperThe Coloniality and Decolonising of Memory 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 13:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 14:30:00 UTC
  The experience of migration extends beyond the immediate period of relocation, as its effects can be felt across multiple generations. While personal and intimate, migration is intricately linked to broader social experiences and memories, as it has a profound impact on the communities affected by the experience. Indeed, individual recollections cannot be detached from their social context (Halbwachs, 1992). The Black British community, the focus of this paper, has historically been relegated to the margins of society, resulting in their voices and experiences being unheard by the dominant 'imagined community' (Anderson, 1983). As a result, their history and experiences have been underrepresented.
           The experience of second-generation migrants is particularly complex, as they are born and raised in a foreign country while simultaneously navigating their parents' cultural background. These individuals create their own memories, shaped by their experiences of living between two worlds and, therefore, live in a twilight zone of belonging while their parents strive to maintain their cultural roots. Memory, in this context, serves as a crucial element that connects the two worlds, as it influences both what is remembered and how it is recalled. This paper argues that art, specifically cinema, provides a gateway to access memory, as it serves as a physical manifestation of otherwise intangible memories (Alter, 2018, p.195). 
           Therefore, the present paper seeks to accomplish two primary objectives. Firstly, it aims to investigate how first-generation migrants maintain their cultural heritage and transmit it to subsequent generations in a new country, despite facing various challenges. Secondly, this paper aims to explore the experiences of second-generation migrants who were born in a foreign country and have limited personal recollections of their ancestral roots. This will be achieved using cinema as a tool of analysis. The documentary chosen will be Home Away from Home (1992) by Sankofa, a documentary that examines the two objectives this paper pursues through the character of Miriam, who migrated to London at a young age, and her children's experiences of growing up in England. 
       This documentary offers a unique perspective on how memories can be used to connect the past and the future. By juxtaposing personal recollections with collective memories, Home Away from Home (1992) illustrates the opportunities that memory provides for reflection on migration experiences. This paper will commence by contextualizing the issues addressed in the documentary. Subsequently, it will explore how migration experiences affect different generations, and finally, emphasize the importance of remembering one's roots in taking a decisive stance for the future.
Keywords: Memory studies, migration, postcolonialism, Sankofa, decolonization.
Presenters MARIA PIQUERAS-PEREZ
PhD Student/predoctoral Researcher , University Of Murcia
Is Community Enough? Forced Migration, Memory and Identity in Two Postconflict Peruvian Films
Individual paperMovement, Migration and Refugees 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
The violence of the Peruvian internal armed conflict (1980–2000) forced the domestic migration of over one million people, most of whom went to the cities from rural areas. Having, in many cases, suffered the loss of their whole families or villages, many displaced people stayed even after the end of the conflict, forming permanent communities in the outskirts of Lima and other urban centers. Since 2001, Peru's transition towards peace has run parallel to processes of symbolic justice that strive to understand the violent past, and cinema has been one of the transitional period's main actors by telling stories about the conflict. This paper will focus on two Peruvian films –Héctor Gálvez's Paraíso (2009) and Melina León's Canción sin nombre (2019)– that explore the relationship between memory and community-building in migrant neighborhoods on the outskirts of Lima.
In Gálvez's film, set in 2007, a group of teenagers search for a future in the ever forward-moving capital, even as they struggle to understand the significance of the violence that their parents fled in the past. León, on the other hand, sets her film during the conflict: when the protagonist's newborn is stolen for adoption, in 1988, her sense of belonging is upended, leading her to reaffirm her ties to her migrant community and to find new ones in the camaraderie of other women.
Even considering the two films' radically opposite aesthetic and narrative styles, I will show that both directors come to similar conclusions regarding the importance of community in the face of a violent past. Moreover, although the armed conflict provides the broader historical context for both films, it is Peru's institutional indifference that constitutes the ongoing violence in both narratives, underlining the limitations of the collective and questioning the value of memory for its own sake. Finally, I will argue that, precisely because they point out the contradictions of Peru's memory process, Paraíso and Canción sin nombre contribute to the mosaic of narratives that may bring at least some measure of symbolic justice to those who were forcibly displaced by the conflict.
Presenters
VP
Valentina Perez Llosa
Hamburg University
From Victim to Political Agency: The Politics of Migrant Representation of the Documentary Love, Deutschmarks and Death
Individual paperMovement, Migration and Refugees 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
2021 marks the 60th anniversary of the beginning of mass migration from Turkey to Germany and the topic remains an important theme in Turkish-German cinema. It was not until the 1970s that the first German films about migration from Turkey began to be made, and they stood out both in terms of their contexts and their aesthetic properties. Recent Turkish-German cinema has a unique place in this history with its new aesthetic forms and themes that deconstruct traditional immigrant representations and consist of different representations other than the "victimized subject". In this presentation, I will analyze the documentary Love, Deutschmarks and Death (Cem Kaya, 2022), an example of recent Turkish-German cinema, in order to discuss the politics of representation of migration from Turkey to Germany. The paper will take place through the following questions: How is the experience of immigrants represented in Love, Deutschmarks and Death? Are immigrants understood through a pathological gaze or as an active agency who develops strategies to cope with the post-migration process? Where does the documentary's representation of immigrants stand in Turkish-German cinema?
Presenters
PY
Pınar Yıldız
Dr., Freie Universität Berlin
The Grossberg play: Refugeria
Individual paperMovement, Migration and Refugees 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/04 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/05 22:00:00 UTC
From the 1930s to the 1950s, a community of exiled Austrian and German refugee poets, artists, dramatists and authors, of Jewish descent or dissidents, found themselves neighbors in close quarters, in what they lovingly and sardonically came to call "The Fourth Reich" of New York City's Upper West Side. Their close, weekly interactions in informal salons and gatherings is attested to through postcards, telegrams, letters, and ephemera now preserved in Vienna's Exilbibliothek archives. These document not only their collective trauma at losing loved-ones and families during the Holocaust and Europe's persecution of political dissidents, but also lighter moments of their collective social and creative activity.

Among these documents are drafts of a play performed in March of 1949, in the West 164th Street living room of poet Mimi Grossberg and her husband, journalist Norbert Grossberg, presumably a collective work of husband and wife, Refugeria. Only fragments and notes remain, in rhymed verse mixing German, English, and both, for the first several acts, parts of which the play's audience was presumably invited to play and to complete themselves.  



The proposed presentation offers an anglicized translation of the play's seeming plot: Kathi, owner of the restaurant Refugeria, ephemerally-located in both lower and upper Manhattan, has lied about her age on immigration documents. But she's being investigated by the police, rather, for running her restaurant on scanty funds, while housing six or seven refugees in her apartment. The characters (a gold-digger, a rake, a complaining waiter, a guest) are written straight out of an inter-war Viennese cabaret sketch. The play's dénouement seems to invite the audience's interactions. Characters' lines are sometimes typed, some scribbled in pencil on hotel stationary from Kansas City, New Orleans, New York, and Tyler, Texas; Grossberg worked as a traveling salesman. Included are photos and ephemera from the evenings of its (evidently only two) performances in 1949. 



The presentation proposes to focus on heritage, private/public memory, quiet activism, violence, migration, social justice, and human rights, as they relate to transatlantic post-industrial performance, reflected in intimate group performances, inside jokes, and translation, reflecting both experiences in the New World, and memories of the past. 





Bio note:
Joshua Parker is an associate professor of American studies at the University of Salzburg, with research interests in place and space, transatlantic relations and narrative theory. His recent work includes articles in Narrative and Poetics Today, and a translated volume of Austrian exile poetry, Blossoms in Snow: Austrian Refugee Poets in Manhattan (2020, University of New Orleans Press).
Presenters
JP
Joshua Parker
Associate Professor Of American Studies, University Of Salzburg
Hamburg University
Dr.
,
Freie Universität Berlin
Associate Professor of American Studies
,
University of Salzburg
PhD student/predoctoral researcher
,
University of Murcia
 Tatiana Smirnova
PhD Student / co-director of STS Lab
,
University of Lausanne, STS Lab
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