Racial Contexts for Climate Migration

The following is intended to be a useful resource comprising videos of the various presentations from a fascinating and provocative international workshop exploring racial contexts for climate migration.  It is for anyone interested in the connections between issues of race, migration and climate change, bearing in mind the academic context of the narratives and language used.  This media resource was created and produced by Kooj (Kuljit) Chuhan / Metaceptive Media.  The full resource is available on the Virtual Migrants website at www.virtualmigrants.net/racial-contexts-for-climate-migration .

On June 18th and 19th 2013 at Durham University (UK), a group of researchers, theorists and academics from universities across Europe came together to share critical studies and perspectives on the intersection between climate change, migration and race. The ‘workshop’ event was titled:

Race, alterity and affect: rethinking climate change-induced migration and displacement

Introduction to the Race, alterity and affect workshop:

This workshop was developed and convened by Andrew Baldwin (Durham University) and Katherine Russo (L’Orientale, Naples), and included two very interesting (and ‘relatively’ accessible) keynote presentations from David Theo Goldberg and Uma Kothari respectively. The presentations generally involve language, concepts and jargon from academia and may be hard to understand for many of us, but what is being discussed is for the most part really worthwhile.

Keynote Presentations

From the workshop, there are two very worthwhile hour-long videos of each of the keynote presentations viewable below.  Also, the rest of the set of presentations (unedited footage) can be accessed as a separate page on the Virtual Migrants website.

Keynote presentation by David Theo Goldberg, titled Parting Waters:

Professor David Theo Goldberg is the Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute, and the Executive Director of the Digital Media & Learning Research Hub. He holds faculty appointments as Professor of Comparative Literature, Anthropology, and Criminology, Law and Society at UC Irvine and is a leading scholar on the intersections of race and philosophy. His keynote talk considered contemporary issues of social responsibility and risk alongside racialised accounts of vulnerability with a focus on the role of the sea in how we imagine of spaces vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including migration.

Keynote presentation by Uma Kothari, titled Colonial Representations and Island Imaginaries:

Professor Uma Kothari is Professor of Migration and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Manchester. Her research is broadly concerned with discourses and representations of international development, transnational migration and diasporas. Her keynote talk considered the implications of colonial narratives for how we might understand climate change, migration and forced displacement in respect of the Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius.

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Kooj Chuhan is currently working on developing further creative and documentary projects on these and related themes, including a deeper partnership with Andrew at Durham and with the UK Climate Change and Migration coalition in London.

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