Photographs: Istvan Virag
Henrik Olav Mathiesen
The Use, Expansion, and Construction of Public Spheres: Historical Perspectives on the Participation of Migrants in Public Discourse
What is the public sphere, and why do people participate in it? Migrants and migration are often publicly discussed, but the voices of the migrants themselves may be less prominent in such public debates. In America in the nineteenth century, emigrants from Scandinavia actively made use of an existing public sphere and they also crafted a new public sphere for their own ends. Looking at how Scandinavian emigrants made use of the public sphere in their old homeland and how they crafted their own public sphere in America, this talk addresses the nature of public spheres, their reasons for being, and how migrants may, for various reasons, contribute to their development.
Henrik Olav Mathiesen (b. 1990) is a PhD student at the University of Oslo working on Scandinavian emigrants' participation in the public sphere during the nineteenth century. An interest in exploring what aspects of the human condition are historicizable has previously led him to investigate perceptions and feelings of home and belonging among transatlantic migrants.
Discovering the Art of Homelessness.
Scottish artist Garry Williams will present work and thoughts relevant to the FEED project No Place to Call Home, focussing on identity politics, land/power and his own personal journey through homelessness.
Over the past seven years Garry Williams has lived and worked in Norway making works within the local environment using installation and performance, exploring the precarious nature of existence focussing on ideas, places and situations that are in tension or jeopardy.
A SONG IN THIN AIR
A performance out in the gateway.
A stone. A rhythmical path. A song of despair and resistance. Silence.
Johanna Zwaig is a Norwegian performance artist. In recent years she has responded to different social and political fields and situations through dark flamenco songs, often in combination with symbolically charged actions and objects, in both long durational, repetitive performances and short, explosive ones. Conscious about the song’s roots in hard times and influenced by Andalusian gitanos, she has been investigating the complex flamenco singing as a form of resistance and protest, but also as means to connect and unite. www.johannazwaig.com
Maren Stinessen Bøe
“They don’t want to integrate"
Roma from Central and Eastern European countries have emigrated to West-and Northern European countries since the EU border opened in 2004 and 2007. Maren worked in Romania from 2007 until 2009, she heard the phrase “they don’t want to integrate” many times, mostly implying- don’t bother interacting with Roma, they are different (or sub) people. Today, Roma are visible actors in the public space all over Europe and we, the non-Roma in Norway and also in the UK, often seem helpless or even angry when we witness public spaces habituated by Roma from e.g. Romania or Bulgaria. What do they want? Why are they here? Maren decided to spend three months in the UK collecting Roma voices and stories, in order to learn how Roma feel about the phrase “they don’t want to integrate”.
Maren will share some of these stories and voices, lending her paper to people who have something to tell us. We just need to listen.
Maren Stinessen Bøe is a social worker. For the last ten years she has worked on-and- off with Roma in Romania, Rep. Moldova, Austria and Norway as well as with homelessness, migration and drug addictions. She is currently writing her master thesis in social work called “they don’t want to integrate” aiming to listen to and learn from Roma voices who have migrated from Central and Eastern Europe to the UK since 2004. Since 2015 she has been employed at Kirkens Bymisjon’s ByFrokost, a soup kitchen for poor travellers in Oslo.
A Different Context
Charlotte will talk about her installation as a part of the program, exploring its evolution for different situations and sites. She will explore the ideas behind the work whilst dissecting why and how she will be working with pubic space, and the challenges that presents.
Charlotte Thiis-Evensen has an MA of Literary Science from the University of Oslo and has studied art at the National Academy of the Arts. She is an artist working with documentarism in video, photo and installations. Several of her artworks are about how unspoken power structures seriously limit the individual’s freedom of action. Besides production of art she has been working as a journalist at the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation for fifteen years both with documentary film and with journalistic programs.
This Land - Symposium