Hello from the other side: Europe, Migration, and The Emperor’s New Clothes
Independent Researcher / Curator
The humankind of the early twenty-first century has developed a special relationship towards ‘poor images’ (selfies, for instance): the possibility to have oneself turned into a spectacle, instantly and by one’s own hand. This paper is about men aware of this possibility. They are men of different kinds: younger and elder, adults and teenagers, rich and poor, employed and unemployed, Muslims and non-Muslims; but also: single men and less single men, well-dressed ‘daddies’ and naked (or half-naked) chaps, ‘straight’ guys and those who may not be straight at all (or may be less straight than they tend to appear). They are brought together in a personal story revolving around one central question: what can the image of a male body communicate about the so-called European refugee crisis nowadays? While focusing primarily on the notions of masculinity, intimacy, and sexuality, this paper assumes that male bodies-on-the-move pursue a particular relationship with the image-world: not only in terms of their ability to communicate by taking pictures, but rather in terms of their capacity to relate to each other by making spectacles of themselves. To move, therefore, implies to imagine the world in the image of oneself exposed to the other. To think over one’s experience of a movement with regard to what most commonly concerns the idea of ‘migration’ is but a way of establishing a visual relationship with the humankind at large – or, as this paper points out, with the very idea of mankind on the move…
Key words: images, masculinity, sexuality, bodies-on-the-move, European refugee crisis
Marko Stamenkovic (1977) is art historian born and raised in the south of Serbia. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Ghent in Belgium with the thesis Suicide Cultures: Theories and Practices of Radical Withdrawal. Over the last decade, he has been working primarily in the field of contemporary arts as a curator, critic, and lecturer focused on the intersection of visual thinking with social theories, political philosophies, and cultural practices of the excluded and oppressed.