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Special Guest Lecture

Migratory Aesthetics in Diasporic Claustrophobia

Lecture Information

  • SpeakerMaria L. T. Reyes(University of Santo Tomas)

Mobilization processes of art forms in their textual and contextual determinations involve an understanding of the dynamics of textual mobility and mobile textuality. Such dynamics are socially and politically inflected processes shaping the articulation of mobility as an aesthetic as well as the aesthetic of mobility. As this paper tries to show, these processes are contradictory but mutually constitutive of (im)mobilization and mobilization that enable an aesthetic that is held together in tension by the experience of diaspora under globalization. This tension does not result in a unidimentional process but a relational dynamic in which the very act of displacement between points A and B -- that nomadic aesthetic “place” in-between -- becomes a dynamic site of contestation, resistance, complicity, and meaning. In that space, the Filipino short story, “Arrivederci,” interrogates the inscription of the tension between mobility and immobility wherein lies the “migratory” aesthetic that marks the lives of the Filipino workers in Italy. There, they navigate distances and experience the push-and-pull of mobility and immobility in the global capitalist market, engaging in life-and-death struggles as objectified migratory commodities. The thematic re-inscription of their experience in the short story constitutes what is referred to in this paper as the aesthetic of “diasporic claustrophobia.”