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Self and Belonging : Visual (Self-)Representations by Afghan Migrants

Author Sarah BITTEL
Director of thesis Alessandro Monsutti
Co-director of thesis Ruth Mandel
Summary of thesis

Studies of migration have paid frequent attention to migrants’ representation in media and political

discourses. However, there is little focus on migrants’ own visual production and the relevance of

such self-representation. Therefore, my study will focus on the visual communications employed

by selected Afghan migrants in Greece and Germany. Here, visual communication refers

to everything that addresses itself to sight, such as photographs, videos, drawings, texts with

graphic elements, and that are addressed to a specific audience. For this study, I will focus on

visual representations that are addressed to family members back home, peers, members of the

host community, and policy makers. I will explore the images that Afghan migrants share for their

capacity to reveal social phenomena, their relationships to the world, and lived power relations

(Mirzoeff, 2013). Investigating migrants’ visual culture will allow me to better understand concepts

of self and belonging and, more broadly, life in exile. I will pay special attention to how images

speak to migrants’ social aspirations, obligations, and preconceptions of “Europe.”

Status middle
Administrative delay for the defence 2023