Doktoratsprojekt künstlerische Forschung

The Migrating Image

Jošt Franko

The Migrating Image keeps safe, preserves, records, imagines, archives, alters.

The Migrating Image struggles, trembles and often fails.

The Migrating Image is a monument of and for the displaced, disabled, disrupted, dispossessed, hungry, ragged, and left out.

It travels through landscape in space and in time.

The Migrating Image is a song sung for a just time.

The proposed PhD project is based on on-going field research in the settlements for refugees and internally displaced in the broader region of the Balkan, which I have been continually visiting since 2017. Various still active refugee camps in ex-Yugoslavia, have been operating for nearly 30 years. As the external borders in EU are becoming increasingly guarded and militarised, the Balkans have also become a place, where dreams are placed in a limbo for yet another group of people-in-exile. With the emergence of the Balkan refugee route in 2015, many people-on-the-move from Middle East, Africa, and Asia are stuck in the region for months or years. Their lives are indeed also affected by the consequences of the war that persists in the region – mines and unexploded mortars have continued to kill those who try to reach European Union through the forests between Bosnia and Croatia.

Through a series of thematic artistic (photo-text) newspaper publications that will be developed throughout the PhD, The Migrating Image proposes to become an agent of visibility and existence through documentation of the aftermath of the atrocities. The project seeks to examine how the struggle for continuity and the dispossession of memory inform the identity of the displaced and exiled individuals. How can it address new potentiality for images of people and communities on the fringes, can it reconstruct them through the strategies that negotiate the limits of representation? How do images present new possibilities for the exiled, displaced, diasporic identities?