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Migration and art: exploring experiential and theoretical connections

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posted on 2021-05-23, 13:31 authored by Eva Hellreich
How can arts-based methodologies offer unique insights into contemporary migration and settlement experiences? Informed by qualitative research and a literature review which analyzes identity theory, social construction theory, and Canadian art organizations which support newcomer artists, this paper explores the potential for the intersection of the arts in immigration and settlement assessment. An exploratory investigation of the theory of art as linked to migration is illuminated by the experiences of a group of artists who have gone through a significant migratory experience and share their reflections on being artists in Canada. This paper argues that analyzing art created by immigrant artists offers insight into the contemporary Canadian immigration experience which quantitative data is unable to capture. Learning about the barriers which immigrant artists face through using arts-based research includes the subject in the research, thereby empowering and validating their lived experiences as valuable epistemologies and ontologies. Findings reveal the impact of acculturation on the identities of and opportunities available to immigrant artists in Canada. Key Words: Immigrant Art; Immigration and Toronto; Place-making; Acculturation; Hybridity; Identity





Master of Arts


Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type