The Social Image – The Visualization of Flight and Migration

The visualization of flight and migration seems to have particular relevance not only in the me-dia, but also for the artistic engagement of one of the central and particularly controversial de-bates of our time - that of the movement of people across national borders. Whether on canvas, in street art, in the cityscape or in the mass media, images of flight and migration have become an integral component of visual memory. From a visual studies perspective, the dissertation examines these images and their social conditionality.
Due to their complexity and individuality, the phenomena of flight and migration cannot be defined uniformly or concretely. Social self-descriptions inscribe themselves in the visualizations of these phenomena. Here, images and social experiences are mutually dependent on each other, meaning that the images created also have a (socially) constitutive role.
In Sociology, it has already been argued that more attention should be paid to images since they are involved in the constitution of the sociological object. Conversely, for the art historical anal-ysis of images, the sociological object - and the analysis approaches directed towards it - must also be taken into account. If social self-descriptions play a constitutive role in the production of images, the analysis must reflect on and uncover this interdependence. On the basis of a corpus of images on flight and migration, the dissertation explores this entanglement through a combi-nation of approaches from visual studies and sociology.

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Modern and Contemporary Art History