Undocumented? An exhibition about migration on the edges of Europe
30 November 2023–29 February 2024, 10:00 am–6:00 pm
An immersive video installation by artist and academic Nishat Awan, tracing journeys of migration through the edges of Europe.
This event is free.
UCL Urban Room
UCL Urban RoomUCLLondonE20 2AFUnited Kingdom
Documents play a central role in any journey but in the lives of the undocumented they take on mythical status. This lack of documents is often compensated by stories, advice and anecdotes from those who have gone before. They are crucial to navigating across what are hostile grounds and unknown lands.
Co-curated by artist and academic Prof Nishat Awan, Undocumented? explores journeys of migration as a series of situated vignettes from the edges of Europe. It documents lives caught in movement, lives that for those policing the borders of Europe would be better left undocumented, as mere statistics.
Grounded in original field research, Migrant Narratives of Citizenship: A Topological Atlas of European Belonging presents a collection of maps which follow the borders of Europe, particularly along the Black Sea.
The exhibition traces a route through the borderlands of the 'refugee crisis', narrating stories of migrant journeys and the clandestine crossing of borders. An unfinished and provisional Atlas of European Belonging visualises Europe through its margins and the spaces of transit, movement and stasis produced by those on the move.
Plan your visit
The exhibition runs from 30 November 2023 - 29 February 2024.
Visit Monday - Saturday, 10am - 6pm. No need to book.
Tickets are required for the following special event, which can be booked on Eventbrite.
- 29th February, 17:00 - 19:00: Poetry as Record – An Interactive Workshop Exploring Ethical Documenting of Migrant Stories
How can we use imaginative forms as a way of telling our own stories on our own terms? This workshop considers how different forms of evidence are created and used. Through poetry, we will share how to create one’s own verbal and textual material. We will illustrate how poetry can exist as a creative form of record keeping, telling migration stories, and as research materials.
Curator: Nishat Awan
Nishat Awan is based at the UCL Urban Lab where she leads the European Research Council funded project, Topological Atlas, focusing on undocumented migration, border regimes and their visual representation. She is interested in modes of spatial representation, particularly in relation to the digital and the limits of witnessing as a form of ethical engagement with distant places.
Her book, Diasporic Agencies (Routledge, 2016) addressed the subject of how architecture and urbanism can respond to the consequences of increasing migration. In 2015 she was an Independent Social Research Foundation early career fellow working on the project, Edges of Europe, exploring European belonging through migrant experience. She has also addressed alternative modes of architectural production in the co-authored book Spatial Agency (Routledge, 2011) and the co-edited book Trans-Local-Act (aaa-peprav, 2011).
About the UCL Urban Room
Located at One Pool Street, the public-facing UCL Urban Room hosts events, exhibitions, workshops and engagement with local stakeholders, professional audiences, and the wider public. Exploring the impact of industry, globalisation, regeneration and gentrification on the six Olympic Park boroughs and their people, UCL Urban Room is a partnership between UCL Urban Laboratory, The Bartlett, School for the Creative and Cultural Industries and UCL Library Services: Special Collections.
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