Spaces of identity in the context of media images and artistic representations of refugees and migration in Austria
A new publication by Ricarda Drüeke, Elisabeth Klaus & Anita Moser – published in the European Journal of Cultural Studies
The article focuses on media images and artistic discourses on refugees and migration. In both discourses, by the arts and media, stereotypical identities are constructed and reproduced, but are also at times modified or rejected. Theoretically, the article relates to the concept of media-constructed spaces of identity developed with reference to cultural studies. Analytically, three types of such places have been distinguished: geopolitical spaces, spaces of identification and spaces of in-between. We argue that the concept can be fruitfully extended to artistic representations. Following this, the article presents the results of an exemplary analysis of Austrian press photographs accompanying reports on flight and refugees in 2015. While geopolitical spaces and spaces of identification are clearly marked in the media images, spaces of in-between are rare. However, these abound in artistic productions on the subject. Finally, the article discusses media and contemporary art as distinct spaces of identity construction and formation.