Next Thursday, November 23, 2023, we are organising the next seminar of our GlobaLS seminar series: «The Arts as an Integration Vehicle for US-Mexico Deportees and Returnees» by María Cristina Fernández Hall
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23 November 2023, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm (CET)
Venue: 22@, IN3-UOC, Barcelona
In light of the myriad challenges to integration that the more than 3.6 million deportees and returnees in Mexico (Anuario de migración y remesas, México 2018) continually face after living in the United States, today’s presentation will focus on a chapter of my doctoral thesis, which investigates the arts as a tool for returnees to (1) forge communities and establish alliances, (2) demand rights, and (3) create new epistemic meanings for and by deportees and returnees in Mexico. For this empirical research, I participated in proposing, executing, and analyzing several artistic projects carried out by the migrant and returning communities in Mexico City. Today, I will focus on one such project: Duelo en resistencia. This artistic project planned by the grassroots organization Otros Dreams en Acción (ODA) took place during the week of the Day of the Dead, from October 29 to November 1, 2020. During this week, ODA organized several workshops and a virtual vigil to raise awareness around all of the people who have died while migrating, as well as because of COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted Hispanic and Black people in the United States. Drawing on the decolonial theories that resist the epistemicide, as put forth by De Sousa Santos, Quijano and Mignolo, as well as from Cohen’s concept of autonomy, Boff’s essential care, and Sassen and Mbembe’s notions of expulsions, we will address how art functions as a tool of integration for returnees and deportees in Mexico.
On María Cristina Fernández Hall
María Cristina Fernández Hall (New York, 1991) has a PhD in sociology focusing on the reintegration of deportees and returnees in Mexico, through the arts, at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She has actively participated in Otros Dreams en Acción, an organization by and for returnees and deportees, for the last five years. A member of Red de Norteamericanistas, she translates for Voices of Mexico at UNAM’s Center for Research on North America as well as for Mapping Hispanic Modernity at the Open University of Catalonia. She studied creative writing and political science at Columbia University (magna cum laude) and has a master’s in translation studies from Universitat Pompeu Fabra. She recently published the poetry collection Sueños de la Malaria (Herring Publishers 2020) and Fantasía fértil (Editorial Medusa 2022) and has also cotranslated several novels from the Catalan alongside Megan Berkobien. Her academic work can be found in the book Santuarios educativos en México (Universidad Veracruzana 2018), the forthcoming Factoring Immigration in the Rise of the US as a Great Power (Edinburgh University Press), and Canadá y sus paradojas en el siglo XXI (UNAM 2022).