Cette poétique du politique: political and representational ecologies in the work of Yto Barrada

I was invited by Shirley Jordan and Marie-Claire Barnet to contribute a paper to a forthcoming volume of L’Esprit Créateur (published by Johns Hopkins University Press).


L’Esprit Créateur, Vol. 51, No. 1 (2011), pp. 53–67

In this paper, I explore the Franco-Moroccan artist, Yto Barrada’s representation of the politics and practices of globalization. I focus in particular on her critical interrogation of the unevenness of mobility between Europe and North Africa, arguing that contrary to media representations of migration, which prioritise the event and spectacle of crossing, her work focuses instead on the stillness and boredom that characterize life in the border zones of the globalized world. Finally, I suggest that Barrada challenges the binarism of dominant political discourse, foregrounding in her ‘sustainable’ artistic practice the complex, longstanding and multivalent relations between Europe and Africa.


About PlastiCités
Amanda Crawley Jackson lectures in French at the University of Sheffield (UK). She specialises in existentialist philosophy, urban spatialities and contemporary visual arts from France and the French-speaking world.

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