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Interventions

Communication Research and Practice

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Edited By Adrienne Shaw and D. Travers Scott

This volume brings together a range of papers that fruitfully engage with the theme of the 2017 Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, held in San Diego, California: Interventions. Here "intervention" points to a range of communication practices that engage with a political event, social phenomena, industrial or socio-cultural practice, in order to alter and disrupt events and the norms and practices that contribute to their occurrence.  Interventions prohibit events from proceeding in a "normal" course. Interventions approach or critique practices and phenomenon resulting from tensions or absences occurring in: events, structures, (institutional governmental, media industry), discourses, and socio-cultural and subcultural events. Intervention presents the opportunity to explore boundaries, assumptions and strategies that appear to be different or irreconcilable, viewing them instead as possibilities for productive engagements. Communication interventions—in both research and practice—insert insights from diverse voices, marginal positions, emerging organizational practices and digital technologies, to broaden and enrich dialogue. Interventions bring complex reframings to events and phenomenon. Interventions seek to alter a course and effect changed practices in a range of spheres: governmental and social institutions, cultural and nongovernmental groups; industry and organizational life, new media and digital spaces, socio-cultural environments, subcultural groups, health environments, affective and behavioral life, and in everyday life.

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15. Art and Activism on Hospitality and Solidarity (Miyase Christensen)

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15. Art and Activism on Hospitality and Solidarity

MIYASE CHRISTENSEN

The fundamental tenets of cosmopolitanism such as openness, hospitality, and solidarity are widely contested in popular, political, and scholarly discourses. Those who occupy seats on the far-right spectrum of politics use scapegoating tactics and claim that policies supporting multiculturalism, and their assumed failure, are to blame for economic hardships and cultural “clash.” Neoliberalism champions conservatism and economic protectionism while undermining humanitarianism. As such discourses find increasing mainstream purchase, centrist politics and its mediations in Europe strategically borrows from populist sentimentalism in addressing the questions of loss of jobs, sovereignty, need for austerity, “core culture” (or, leitkultur in Germany) and migration, while renouncing hardlineism and economic protectionism. In the United States, Trumpism, both during the 2016 national election campaign and after Donald Trump was inaugurated as President in January 2017, has resonated with populist radical-right platforms in Europe. Social unrest is apparent, and ensuing tensions (in various expressions) are on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic.

What role can artistic interventions and activist initiatives, as expressions and performances of hospitality and solidarity, play during turbulent times where we witness polarized national political agendas and constricted spaces of difference? The purpose of this essay, taking the populist turn in politics as a backdrop and Sweden as a case in point, is to discuss such interventionism in relation to migration and what has been labeled the “refugee crisis...

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