The Migrant Assembly
The Migrant Assembly is a device for encounters that articulates people, projects, spaces and temporalities for opening up and making visible to the community the experiences and realities of migrants. Devised by the artistic duo Bobrikova & de Carmen, this work of collective participation questions and problematizes concepts such as border, identity, territory and community.
Nomadic in nature, its format moves through the city of Oslo through three assemblies that occupy, intervene and activate the public space of the city.
The assemblies are organised by three invited projects, Verdensrommet Network, Reunion and Njokobok that will participate and diagram specific dynamics in the events.The events will include days of talks, debates and readings that explore forms of collective self-organization, community integration and collaboration in situated contexts. To provide shelter for these meetings, we have made three mobile structures that are temporarily located in places with symbolic meanings: the square in front of the parliament, an unfinished bridge and an immigrant neighborhood in the process of gentrification.
Based on the idea of movement, The Migrant Assembly proposes a choreographic dimension that operates in two directions: outwards, unfolding through the city, appropriating public space, and inwards in a temporal arc that extends into the three assemblies to open future horizons, recover and gather memories, and for the participant place themselves in a present that demands attention.
The Migrant Assembly is being developed as a part of the larger project called Outsider. Work on Outsider began in 2017, during which we rose a flag inscribed with “OUTSIDER” in the city of Malmo. Tied to a pole with the aim of sheltering the public visiting the Agrikultura Triennal occurring in the city of Malmo at this time, the flag symbolically marked a remnant place outside the legal jurisdiction of the public space. Later, in 2018, the flag traveled through the Finnmark region, marking urban signage on the borders of the Sami community.
During the Migrant Assembly the flag will be located horizontally co-forming the roof of each of the shelters. Far from limiting a closed space of belonging, this flag alludes to the opposite direction. It questions the obsolete concept of borders to indicate their randomness.. What things stay in and out of a boundary? What elements determine access? How permeable are these edges? And to what extent do they protect, care for and provide shelter?
The Migrant Assembly – within the Outsider project – is co-authored by Bobrikova & de Carmen with the Argentinean curator Maria Alejandra Gatti.