The website for Asia Scholars and Asia Studies in Europe

go to events overview page


Cathrine Bublatzky co-editor of Special Issue on migratory archives



4 August 2021

HCTS assistant professor of
Visual and Media Anthropology Cathrine Bublatzky and
Dr. Fiona Siegenthaler (Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Basel) are the guest-editors of the Special Issue of
Visual Anthropology on the topic “
(Un)sighted Archives of Migration—Spaces of Encounter and Resistance” (Vol. 34, Issue 4, 2021). Acknowledging migration as a fundamental component of social practice and collective memory, the volume takes a close look at (un)sighted migratory archives and archives of migration, highlighting their relevance for both individual and collective subjectivities.
With a transversal perspective that encompasses the fields of art, anthropology, and social activism, the contributions to the volume analyze the complex networks of power relations, spatial and temporal dynamics, media practices, and meaning production involved in the making, maintainance, contemplation, appropriation, destruction, and loss of such archives. By doing so, not only do authors rethink and redefine the common methodological and theoretical approaches to the subject; they also, and most significantly, engage with archives as spaces of encounter and resistance in a liminal zone between visibility and invisibility.
The Special Issue consists of the following contributions:

(Un)Sighted Archives of Migration—Spaces of Encounter and Resistance: An Introduction | Fiona Siegenthaler & Cathrine Bublatzky

On Resistance and Failure in the Archival Art Installation | Cathrine Bublatzky

In/Visible Images of Mobility: Sociality and Analog–Digital Materiality in Personal Archives of Transnational Migration | Simone Pfeifer & Ulf Neumann

Objects of Migration—Photo-Objects of Art History: Encounters in an Archive | Almut Goldhahn & Massimo Ricciardo

The Blank Spots: Making Migratory Archives Visible by Exploring Photographs | Gaby Fierz

Objects of Migration: On Archives and Collections, Archivists and Collectors | Alma-Elisa Kittner

The special issue has resulted from the workshop “
Aesthetics and Materiality of Knowledge—(Un)sighted Archives of Migration,” conducted in autumn 2018 at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) at Heidelberg University. The workshop was organized in the frame of the project “
Contemporary Photography as a Cultural Practice by Diasporic Iranians in Europe,” directed by Dr. Cathrine Bublatzky at the HCTS and funded by the
Baden-Württemberg Foundation. The workshop took place in cooperation with Dr. Fiona Siegenthaler and emerged from the authors’ shared interest in the notion of the archive in contexts of migration. On the second day of the workshop, the group cooperated with the network
Migration Hub Heidelberg, located at the
German-American Institute (DAI Heidelberg), and the Heidelberg-based group

Cathrine Bublatzky is a trained photographer and anthropologist specialized in South Asian Studies. She is currently assistant professor to the
Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology at the HCTS. Her research and teaching activity draw from the fields of Visual and Media Anthropology, Popular Culture, and Urban and Migration Studies, with a regional focus on Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East.