This introduction contextualizes thirteen papers included in the Global Perspectives Media and Communication special collection examining the interrelationships between media, migration, and nationalism. This collaborative project was initiated during the Media, Migration and the Rise of Nationalism seminar held in Tokyo in 2018. The seminar was organized around the themes of cosmopolitanism, migration control, transnationalism, and contact zones. This selection covers and brings together long-standing and unresolved debates, which will allow media and migration researchers to engage in a multiperspectival reconsideration of how politics, mobility, and mediation intersect and co-shape each other. In this article, we first position ourselves in relevant debates by charting implications and shared characteristics underlying the recent economic crisis, climate crisis, refugee crisis, and COVID-19 crisis. Section 1 of the article focuses on cosmopolitanism. This thorny scholarly debate is captured by the artist Takashi Tanihata in the works A Letter That Isn’t Read I and II. As we discuss, the artworks depict an endless loop of (mis)communicating goats, which represent the possibilities and implications of mediated solidarity and polarization. The special collection features three articles that further nuance the heated debates on the politics of representation and mediation in relation to cosmopolitanism. Section 2 of this article is thematized with a painting by the artist XX titled The Scents on the Borders, which depicts perfume bottles and their scents encountering each other. The work, as we argue, refers to the complex, evolving relationships between border-crossing subjects and technologies of migration management and control. A latest development shows how tech-driven surveillance experiments tap into sensing technologies including those related to the sense of smell to secure borders. The section consists of four articles that demonstrate how the politics of material and symbolic bordering proliferates outside and inside nation-state boundaries. Section 3 takes inspiration from an artwork titled The Vision (Reportage), by Motoi Hirata, which features a violet sea snail as a motif to represent migrants and diaspora groups in terms of transnational connectivity. The section includes three articles that analyze the workings and lived experiences of connectivity and transnationalism across nation-state borders. In section 4 of this article, we take cues from Satsuki Hinokimoto’s abstract painting The Spread and link its deployment of isolated and interacting colored concentric circles to the evocative scholarly concept of the cultural contact zone. This section of the issue consists of three articles that focus on migrant encounters with difference and the politics of integration in various urban settings across the world. Finally, in our conclusion, we advocate for media and migration researchers to take up the critical concept of intersectionality to better acknowledge the internal heterogeneity of migrant communities alongside the similarities and differences among migrant communities in tandem with various interacting axes of agential identification and structural forms of oppression.
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Introduction| July 01 2020
Media, Migration, and Nationalism: Introduction to the Special Collection
Global Perspectives (2020) 1 (1): 13460.
Tomohisa Hirata, Koen Leurs; Media, Migration, and Nationalism: Introduction to the Special Collection. Global Perspectives 11 May 2020; 1 (1): 13460. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gp.2020.13460
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