Grants and residencies

Research and art

Researcher Tarasenko Anna and working group

296000 €

Sensing as a Refugee: Vulnerable Bodies on the Move

Tieteellinen tutkimus ja taiteellinen työ / niihin pohjautuva työ | Kaksivuotinen

The project integrates scientific, practical and artistic methods to investigate and insert into the public debate the problems of bodily adaptation of refugees with chronic illnesses to the new reality. While the processes of the refugee adaptation are widely studied, we consider the forced migration as a body experience and explore how the refugees overcome deviance provoked by the war and mobility through coping with the body and health problems in the new environment. The project is informed by phenomenology of the body and the conception of new materiality that bring to our attention the interdependence of the body and the environment, natural and man-made, and by contemporary human geography, in particular critical mobilities paradigm. Combination of these methodological foundations allows us to consider a human being in connection to its material and non-material environment with a particular focus on the body-environment relationships, to explore the experience of a refugee and illnesses in changing spatial contexts, and to analyze biological and social components of corporality as inseparable from each other. The project is provided by a joint work of an art-science team. The research is localized in Finland, in the regions that accept refugees from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. The project will ground on methodology of phenomenological research with elements of ethnography and will employ a number of methods: in-depth biographical interviews the refugees and forced migrants from the above mentioned countries in other socio-spatial settings, ethnographic observations in reception centers (vastaanottokeskus); expert interviews with medical personnel and social support services, relevant NGOs, and volunteer communities; qualitative analysis of documents. We will also use artistic methods (photo, video documentation) directly as research methods and as methods for presentation of research findings in an exhibition format and as a documentary.