In this course we will follow the journeys of refugees attempting to cross borders into Europe. Using contemporary film, fiction, photography, the press, virtual reality platforms and other experimental forms of visual art, we will explore the experiences and stories of those on the move.
How are people fleeing violence trapped by land and sea borders? How do they confront and challenge these borders? How do their attempts to cross borders invent new ways of thinking about place and belonging? How is our view of the “refugee crisis” and the “immigrant threat” shaped by imagery in the media? How might artworks change these visions? We will also consider border technology, modes of surveillance, encampment and detention, the asylum process, resettlement and sanctuary.
Some but not all of the works we will study are from the French-speaking world. Readings include Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West, UC Berkeley’s featured book for On the Same Page (free copies for Fall 2020 Freshmen).
Films include Ai Weiwei, Human Flow, Philippe Lioret, Welcome, Crouzillat and Toura, The Messengers, Sidibé and Siebert, Those Who Jump, Audiard, Dheepan.
Course offered in English; knowledge of French not required.