Moving Things, On the Materiality of (Forced) Migration

date » 20-01-2023 11:51

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Moving Things, On the Materiality of (Forced) Migration, Forum Wissen Göttingen

Special exhibition area
Opening on Thursday, 27 October 2022, 6.30 pm. | 28 October 2022 – 15 January 2023

A Project by Institut für Ethnologie der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Museum Friedland | Kunstverein Göttingen
Die Exponauten. Ausstellungen et cetera.
Curatorial team Prof. Dr. Joachim Baur, Elza Czarnowski, Anoush Masoudi, Miriam Trostorf.

With contributions by Mario Badagliacca, Jorge Fernández, Jakob Haueisen, Grey Hutton, Pablo Iraburu, Romm Lewkowicz, Thaer Maarouf, Gideon Mendel, Adrian Oeser, Yuka Oyama, Pablo Tosco, Clara Wieck.
What role do objects play for people who have to flee from their homes? How much human dignity is contained in a smartphone or a pair of shoes? What do these and other things mean to the individuals? A new special exhibition at Forum Wissen approaches the topics of flight and migration through the language of objects.
Moving Things is an exhibition about unassuming, everyday things such as a pair of shoes in the context of flight and migration or other moving things such as a suitcase, papers, food, a boat, smartphones or works of art.
The exhibition tries to visualise the materiality of migration and wants visitors to reflect on related concepts such as borders, community, home and solidarity. It explores how these things came to carry their special meanings in the first place.
Moving things also explores how a museum can provide a space where these matters are discussed. It is the result of the research project “On the Materiality of Flight and Migration” which was conducted by three affiliated partners: the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Göttingen, Museum Friedland and the Berlin exhibition agency Die Exponauten.
The starting point for the project was ethnographic research in the Friedland Transit Camp near Göttingen. The avenues of the research and the conversations and encounters soon led far beyond Lower Saxony: to Moria and Turkey, to Syria and to Afghan communities in Iran.

From September 2018 to July 2021, the research project pursued questions such as what role do objects play for people who have to flee their homes? What promises do they carry, what emotions, what hopes and expectations? What story do things tell about human existence? What does material possession have to do with human dignity and what does its loss mean for the self-awareness and self-positioning of the individual? How do people change things and things people? How can they be moved?
The forms of presentation, developed with the exhibition design studio Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik, Berlin, are very varied: They range from arrangements without any objects, over a strong focus on individual things, artistic positions to spatial scenarios.

The “Moving Things” exhibition is funded by the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States, the Foundation of Lower Saxony and – in the context of the funding priority “language of objects” – by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

For more information about the research project:

There is a book available on the exibition. It is in German and the title is “Moving Things” edited by Wallstein Verlag

A project of: Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Göttingen | Museum Friedland
Die Exponauten. Ausstellungen et cetera | Kunstverein Göttingen
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