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Press Releases

Exhibition by artist and academic Nishat Awan opens at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

13 Sep 2016

Nishat Awan
Migrant Narratives of Citizenship: A Topological Atlas of European Belonging
31 October–27 November 2016

This autumn, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) presents an immersive video installation by artist and academic Nishat Awan in the refurbished Bothy Gallery. Grounded in original field research, Migrant Narratives of Citizenship: A Topological Atlas of European Belonging presents a collection of maps which follow the borders of Europe, particularly along the Black Sea.
The exhibition traces a route through the borderlands of the 'refugee crisis' narrating stories of migrant journeys and the clandestine crossing of borders. An unfinished and provisional Atlas of European Belonging visualises Europe through its margins and the spaces of transit, movement and stasis produced by those on the move. 
This timely project, developed in collaboration with artist Cressida Kocienski, takes as its starting point the historical connection between the way states represent themselves through maps and how citizens and non-citizens are defined. Awan considers maps to be world-making entities traditionally created by those in power, rather than as visualisations of an already existing world.
Awan, a Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Sheffield, will work with her students in the Bothy Gallery from 10 to 31 October to construct the installation. Between 24 and 28 October, Awan and YSP will host round table discussions with refugees, non-governmental organisation (NGO) representatives and academics working on migration-related issues. Taking place in the Bothy Gallery, the aim is to foster a lively debate on the current 'refugee crisis' in Europe. 
Awan’s academic research focuses on the intersection of geo-politics and space, in particular working with the topics of migration, borders and diasporas. She is co-author of Spatial Agency (Routledge, 2011), a book that explores other modes of practicing architecture and her current book Diasporic Agencies (Ashgate, 2016), also explores questions of migration.
Migrant Narratives of Citizenship: A Topological Atlas of European Belonging is supported by Independent Social Research Foundation, University of Sheffield and ESRC Festival of Social Science.

Notes to Editors

About Nishat Awan

Nishat Awan was appointed Lecturer at the University of Sheffield in 2012, having previously worked at the university as a research associate and as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at Technische Universität Berlin. Awan previously taught at Goldsmiths, University of London and University of East London and also worked in practice in London for several years. Awan is interested in questions of diversity, migration and geo-politics and how these can be addressed through spatial practice. She addresses some of these issues in her work with OPENkhana, a collaborative that works between architectural, computational and artistic practice.


Nishat Awan Press Release

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The Kapikule border crossing between Turkey and Bulgaria. Courtesy the artist. Photo Cressida Kocienski

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Odessa. Courtesy the artist. Photo Nishat Awan

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Europa Bucharest. Courtesy the artist. Photo Cressida Kocienski

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