Nachrichten aus dem Black Atlantic. Das Schiff als Bedeutungsträger im Kontext von (Post-)Kolonialismus und Globalisierung

  • Melanie Ulz


News from the Black Atlantic. The Boat as Sign within the Context of (Post-)Colonialism and Globalisation

The image of the ship or boat is currently undergoing a shift in meaning from being a symbol of solidarity to now being one of delimitation. The text discusses a number of art projects that use the ship or boat in order to intervene into constellations of migration, thereby transforming the transgression of geographical borders into a shifting of cultural boundaries. Focused aspects are the Gastarbeiter in 1960s/70s Germany, African boat people who are presently hypervisible in the media, and the so far more or less invisible hybridization of cultures which goes along with migration and has found its historically specified image, which, nevertheless, may also be used in a more generalized way, in Paul Gilroy’s concept of the Black Atlantic. In making use of the boat as a mobile cultural signifier, the artworks, exactly in Gilroy’s sense, open up transcultural spaces (of discourse), that offer altered perspectives on migration movements, perspectives that go beyond alleged invasiveness or threat.