Crossing Borders - Artistic Practices in Performing and Narrating Belonging (CroBoArts)

Main funder

Funder's project number: 308520

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 280 000,00

Funding program

Project timetable

Project start date: 01/09/2017

Project end date: 31/12/2021


This research consortium explores how migrants and long-term residents perform and narrate belonging through the arts and how these performances and narratives are embedded in wider cultural contexts and social structures. In our project, belonging refers to the situation in which someone is an identified and recognized member of a group, to the sense of being a part of a community, and to feeling at home in a material, virtual, symbolic, or imaginary place. It may also be understood as a wilful decision to remain outside a group. In studying belonging we take an intersectional approach, which refers to reading hierarchically organized differences that include gender, age, embodiment, ethnicity, geographical location, religion, sexual orientation and social class. Methodologically, the aim is to apply the concept of “performative intersectionality” that acknowledges the differences in distribution of power and how they affect the sense(s) of belonging.

The consortium consists of two intertwined sub-projects: 1) Performances and Narratives of Belonging through Visual arts and Applied Theatre and 2) Co-Producing and Analyzing Embodied and Multi-Sensory Narratives and Performances of Belonging. Research data for the consortium is collected through multi-semiotic team ethnography, participatory arts-based action research and reception studies in two sites: an art museum and a multicultural centre located in one of the biggest cities in Finland. The data consist of ethnographic field notes, interviews, photographs, videos, theatre performances, artefacts and discussions in online-communities. Throughout the project, the intersections of the personal narratives and the discursive representations and their juxtapositions in multiple spaces are explored together with the participants.

The expected scientific impact of the research lies in developing a nuanced and situated dialectic view of the relationship between language, other semiotic resources and social structure in understanding belonging in migrant contexts. The project findings can be used in critical re-assessment of integration policies and practices.

Principal Investigator

Other persons related to this project (JYU)

Contact person (yes/no): Yes

Primary responsible unit

Related publications and other outputs

Last updated on 2022-06-07 at 12:38