“Arrive, just as you are”: Dance, displacement, and the Syrian Civil War
About the lecture
This lecture offers critical reflections on the experiences of young contemporary dancers who have been displaced as a result of the Syrian Civil War. Through narrative enquiry, drawing on theories pertaining to war, identity, community and cultural displacement, the dancers’ post-migration experiences are explored. Engaging post-colonial and post-national lenses, the ways the dancers navigate boundaries of identity politics are investigated. The dancers’ experiences reveal the shifting and complex nature of identity in exile, and that sustaining (and in some instances prioritising) artistic practices when negotiating displacement allowed for developments and confirmation of identities. Simultaneously, the dancers’ experiences contribute to acknowledging the human element of war, something that is often neglected in discussions. These views also highlight the potential of art for individuals who have experienced forced migration.
This lecture will be followed by a discussion on artists in exile, the role of art in supporting individuals and groups who have been displaced, and the possibility to value intercultural encounters and cultural difference as a resource, rather than a problem. The discussion will be facilitated by Professor Eeva Anttila (Uniarts Helsinki) and actor, artistic director Jussi Lehtonen (Finnish National Theatre).
About Dr. Rose Martin
Dr. Rose Martin is Senior Lecturer in Dance Studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She is the author of the books: Talking dance: Contemporary histories from the Southern Mediterranean (2014) with Associate Professor Nicholas Rowe and Associate Professor Ralph Buck, Dance, diversity and difference: Performance and identity politics in Northern Europe and the Baltics (2017) with Professor Eeva Anttila, the sole-author of Women, dance and revolution: Performance and protest in the Southern Mediterranean (2016) and Artists in exile: A contemporary history of Syrian art 2000-2020 (forthcoming). She has presented invited guest lectures, keynotes and workshops at: University of the Arts Helsinki; Utrecht University; Beijing Dance Academy; Coimbra University; Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Alliance for Arts Education; Cairo Modern Dance Company; El-Funoun Palestinian Dance Troupe; Jordanian National Dance Center; and Lebanese American University.