1st Edition

(Un)sighted Archives of Migration Spaces of Encounter and Resistance

Edited By Cathrine Bublatzky, Fiona Siegenthaler Copyright 2023
    138 Pages
    by Routledge

    138 Pages
    by Routledge

    (Un)sighted Archives of Migration acknowledges that migration is a fundamental part of social practice and collective memory. However, archives that have undergone migration or were established by individuals or communities with migration experience gain little public and institutional attention.

    This volume with its transversal perspective across the fields of art, anthropology and social activism, offers new perspectives on the enormous potential of migratory archives as resourceful spaces for encounter and remembrance, and as a contribution to the plural collective memories and identities of post-migratory societies. Emphasizing the archival agency by migrants, the chapters raise new questions with regard to the multi-directional, collaborative forms of knowledge production within and beyond an archive, its boundaries, and its materiality.

    Focusing on the complexities of power relations, spatial and temporal dynamics, media practices, and meaning production involved in the making, maintenance, viewing, appropriation, destruction and loss of such archives, the chapters contribute to a critical methodological and theoretical discussion about (un)sighted archives as spaces of encounter and resistance in a liminal zone of visibility and invisibility.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of Visual Anthropology.


    Mirjam de Bruijn

    Introduction: (Un)Sighted Archives of Migration— Spaces of Encounter and Resistance

    Fiona Siegenthaler and Cathrine Bublatzky

    1. On Resistance and Failure in the Archival Art Installation

    Cathrine Bublatzky

    2. In/ Visible Images of Mobility: Sociality and Analog– Digital Materiality in Personal Archives of Transnational Migration

    Simone Pfeifer and Ulf Neumann

    3. Objects of Migration— Photo- Objects of Art History: Encounters in an Archive

    Almut Goldhahn and Massimo Ricciardo

    4. The Blank Spots: Making Migratory Archives Visible by Exploring Photographs

    Gaby Fierz

    5. Objects of Migration: On Archives and Collections, Archivists and Collectors

    Alma-Elisa Kittner


    Cathrine Bublatzky is a social and cultural anthropologist with a focus on visual cultures including art and photography, activism and museum studies, migration and memory. She has conducted her research in South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, and works currently on Iranian photographers in the European diaspora.

    Fiona Siegenthaler is an art historian and social anthropologist with a focus on contemporary urban art in Africa. She has conducted research and lectured on a wide range of creative practices in Kampala and Johannesburg and currently engages with the legacies and potentials of colonial museum collections for present and future societies.