‘Art and Architecture of Migration and Discrimination’ released

Esra Akcan, Michael A. McCarthy Professor of Architectural Theory (AAP), and Iftikhar Dadi, John H. Burris Professor of Art History and Visual Studies (A&S), recently published Art and Architecture of Migration and Discrimination: Turkey, Pakistan, and their European Diasporas (Routledge, 2024), a collection of essays on art and architecture that reveal both distinct and convergent histories, stories, and experiences of late 20th-century Muslim migrations and diasporas in Europe.

"During the second half of the 20th century, enormous compulsory migrations from these two countries resulted in significant Muslim diasporic communities in cities such as London and Berlin, yet they have never been studied together," says Akcan. "This book brings together an array of architecture and artistic media that responds to the conditions of the diaspora. What we find is that discrimination has been both the cause and result of migration — for example, internal problems have compelled citizens to emigrate, and blatant discriminatory and ideological constructs shape their experiences in their countries of arrival as well."

The book's subject matter is largely informed by a 2017 Mellon Collaborative Studies seminar co-taught at Cornell by Akcan and Dadi on the relationship between migration, discrimination, and the city. The seminar, which took place against the backdrop of the largest refugee crisis since World War II due to the war in Syria, prompted reflections on statecraft, neoliberalism, and crony capitalism and addressed matters related to statelessness, citizenship, human rights, and violence. Along with Akcan, Dadi, and other scholars, a number of doctoral students in the class contributed essays to the publication, including Aslihan Günhan, Ecem Sarıçayır, Lara Fresko, and Vinh Phu Pham.

According to Akcan and Dadi, the book's power is in the essays, which when read together show how mass-enforced displacement emerges from these cases not as a pathology specific to the Middle East and South Asia, but as a central policy of nation formation — a European concept and type of governmental entity that became an international norm during the decolonization processes and postwar reparations of the 20th century — which tragically resulted in new forms of violence in the world, rather than repairing the damages of colonization, WWI, or WWII.

For a complete list of contributing authors and a preview of this title, please visit the Taylor & Frances website to download a PDF.

Art and Architecture of Migration and Discrimination, edited by Esra Akcan and Iftikhar Dadi is one of many recent faculty publications to be featured in AAP's annual Launchpad event on April 17, 2024. Launchpad is held in Milstein Hall and is free and open to the public. The event includes presentations by the authors as well as a reception with opportunities to peruse and purchase many of the publications.

Read the story on the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning website.

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		Book cover featuring an image of elderly people gathered in front of a building tagged by graffiti