LECTURE | Migrations in Time and Space | Blaž Gselman: Emigration in Early 20th Century – Louis Adamič and migrations to the US
22 January 2019 | 18:00


Migrations in Time and Space


In recent years, Discussions about migrations have been marked by the so-called refugee crisis as the media have dubbed the more numerous than usual border crossings in 2015. The word migration thus conjures up images of endless caravans of people from the Middle East, the militarized responses of the EU states, and social polarization and the rise of hate groups. Migrations have become a synonym for an emergency situation. The point of view that presents the mass migrations of 2015 as an extraordinary natural disaster that states must control by all means deflects from a true understanding of this multilayered process. Mass migrations of people from region to another have a complex history and are inextricably entwined with global economic processes that equally affect the local populations and the migrants.


Phenomena such as the migrations of refuges in 2015 are hard to process without understanding the origins of our borders, what this meant for the population and in what way also the inhabitants of Slovenia are included in the global processes of migration. The “Migrations in Time and Space” series of lectures will focus on the regional conditions in the areas near the borders and try to put the local history of the immigration and emigration of Slovenes in the global context.


Tuesday, 22 January 2019, at 6 p.m.

Blaž Gselman

Emigration in Early 20th Century – Louis Adamič and migrations to the US

The point of departure will be the work of the Slovene-American writer Louis Adamič, whose 120th anniversary of birth was celebrated this year; the Sophia publishing house is soon to publish his work From Many Lands translated into Slovene by Mojca Dobnikar. Adamič, who arrived in America as a 15-year old youth late in 1913, wrote largely about migrant issues, with special focus on migrant labor. He also drew up a long questionnaire about the migrant experience and sent it to numerous homes of residents of the United States. He included the answers he received in some of his works, painting in this way a wide mural of the US in the first half of the 20th century.



The lectures are organised as a part of New Mappings of Europe project.  New Mappings of Europe is a two-year collaborative project of four different art and cultural institutions from Serbia, Slovenia, Austria and the United Kingdom, which will generate knowledge about the migrants' cultural heritage in Europe and make cultural and art institutions more accessible to local communities of migrants of the first and second generations as well as to the new communities of asylum seekers and refugees. The project will consist of co-curated exhibitions, accompanied by a rich public mediation programme, artist residencies, a common web platform, and an international conference. The aim of the project is twofold: on the one hand to deal with past phenomena related to migrations, and on the other, to link these phenomena to current migrations. In order to do so successfully, it is necessary to collaborate on a transnational level.


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