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Chimeras of FormModernist Internationalism Beyond Europe, 1914-2016$
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Aarthi Vadde

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231180245

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231180245.001.0001

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Migritude—The Re-Mediated Work of Art and art’s Mediating Work

Migritude—The Re-Mediated Work of Art and art’s Mediating Work

(p.219) Epilogue Migritude—The Re-Mediated Work of Art and art’s Mediating Work
Chimeras of Form

Aarthi Vadde

Columbia University Press

The epilogue examines Kenyan writer Shailja Patel’s Migritude (2010) within the context of the global migrant crises of 2014-2016. It shows how this experimental work of art transforms the figure of the migrant from an object of knowledge into a subject of it. Migritude is a one-woman theatrical show, which Patel remediated into a book that combined the script of the show with a poetic account of the show’s and the book’s production. The book version is the epilogue’s focus and the final chimera of form from which to reflect on the major principles of modernist internationalism as outlined in my study. I argue that the remediated work does more than simply give voice to an oppressed and precarious collective; from within its conjuncture of performance and print, it contemplates the medium dependency of voice, the indirect political agency of art, and the always incomplete nature of cosmopolitical knowledge. The eponymous migritude emerges as a powerfully contemporary “public feeling” for modernist internationalism – one that is conducive to analyzing and surviving the violence of forced displacement.

Keywords:   Shailja Patel, Migritude, Remediation, Refugee, Performance, Print

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