Migration Forms: Contemporary Art in and out of Morocco, 1999-201

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"Migration Forms” centers on the place where migration and Morocco meet to tell two stories. One argues for the centrality of migration to the projects of local, contemporary art making and postcolonial nation building, while the other examines the codification, circulation, and contestation through visual form of this North African nation’s history and identity. Through a range of media that include photography, sculpture, video, and film, this dissertation considers how five artists and one filmmaker—Ahmed Bouanani, Yto Barrada, Younès Rahmoun, Ivan Boccara, Fadma Kaddouri, and Badr El Hammami—incorporate local and foreign representational strategies, archives, and techniques. I argue for how histories of migration and art making shape the present, differently inflecting the ways in which the here and now are articulated in contemporary Morocco. The five projects I analyze allow me to demonstrate how the aesthetic factors in assessments of the major societal, political, and historical factors that shape this still-young nation, as well as how these elements are experienced and remembered on the individual or community level. I venture that each project mines the representational movements, techniques, and modes that have made Morocco and its artistic production visible at different historic moments, for those within its shifting borders, for those outside of it, and for those whose migratory movements take them constantly back-and-forth, in and out of Morocco.

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  • 01/28/2019
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