In developing the thematics of migration, mobilities and performative identities, PERFORMIGRATIONS regroups diverse perspectives and aptitudes through the collaboration of people and institutions across the E.U. and North America.
Of particular relevance to the project is the Canadian perspective on migration. Canada has often been considered a model for its handling of complex ethical issues relating to diversity, human rights, and multiculturalism. However, the iconic ‘Canadian Mosaic’ rendering of its multicultural society faces unprecedented interrogation. Some wonder whether Canada’s multicultural policy has indeed succeeded in instilling a shared sense of ‘being’ or ‘belonging’ amongst and between Canada’s diverse cultural communities. New challenges arise with every new law and policy affecting the status of refugees, the citizenship rights of migrant workers, and the autonomy of cultural communities.
Over time, generations of immigrants to Canada have shared a national space without necessarily sharing a unified national identity. This situation can be compared to the experience of many Europeans today: despite sharing a political ‘Union’, there remains a great range of national realities, wherein a shared sense of belonging may remain fluid and perhaps elusive. Although there has been a historical migration of European populations towards North America, there is now more intense mobility between countries within the E.U., just as immigration to Europe from other continents is increasing. This evolving situation makes a dialogue with Canada particularly timely.
PERFORMIGRATIONS invites people of all ages and origins to reflect upon these shifts, to examine their own experiences, and to share their unique stories through a series of inter-related cultural events, artistic interventions, and technological interfaces. These expressions will form a shared cultural territory of human experience that transcends traditional cartographic articulations. Together, we will learn how to draw and read these maps, looking for patterns and routes that may help to clarify our sense of being and belonging. In this way PerforMigrations considers the creative contributions of people themselves as constituting territory.