This December, Edinburgh’s City Art Centre hosts a topical and thought-provoking exhibition exploring one of the most divisive topics affecting society today, migration. Another Country – Contemporary Artists on Immigration which runs from 1st December 2018 – 17th March 2019.
The exhibition brings together new and existing work from eleven artists from distinct ethnic and culturally diverse backgrounds to tackle issues surrounding contemporary migration, a complex subject with rapidly growing relevance in the current political climate. The work presented by the artists in Another Country is highly personal as most of the artists are migrants themselves.
The artists who have contributed to the exhibition are: Irineu Destorelles, Graham Fagen, Andrew Gilbert, Euan Gray, Birthe Jorgensen, Katherine Ka Yi Liu, Owen Logan, Toby Paterson, Julie Roberts, Elaine Rutherford and Alberta Whittle.
Referencing the title of James Baldwin’s 1962 novel of the same name, the exhibition highlights the possibility that, for every individual living here, Scotland could become ‘another country’ depending on one’s ethnicity, status and situation.
All sides of the migration debate are considered but central to the exhibition are New Scots themselves. Another Country does not aim to instruct the visitor but rather encourage discussion, offering the opportunity to create a dialogue with audiences that will increase understanding and lead to new insights into nationality, belonging and community building.
Another Country which is free to attend, is the result of a partnership between the City Art Centre and independent curators Euan Gray, Elaine Rutherford and Alberta Whittle. The exhibition is one of an ongoing series of shows at the City Art Centre which deal with contemporary global issues. Earlier this year the exhibition Plastic Beach highlighted artist Robert Callender’s response to the pollution of the seas and coastlines.
Immigration is one of the most hotly debated subjects today, and so the City Art Centre is delighted to be displaying a range of artistic responses with Another Country – Contemporary Artists on Immigration.
The exhibition is accompanied by a substantial workshop programme based around the question ‘What does Diversity look like in Scottish Visual Arts?’ Devised by artists Alberta Whittle and Birthe Jorgensen, and with help from some of the participating artists, some of the workshops are open to the public and to schools, while others are specifically for those with links to The Welcoming Association and Saheliya in Edinburgh. Owen Logan, a Scottish born photographer now based in France, is giving a key lecture during the run of the show.
Councillor Donald Wilson, Edinburgh’s Culture and Communities Convener, said: “This exhibition couldn’t be timelier and I’m sure many people will identify with the display. Edinburgh is home to 39,000 non-British EU nationals – more than any other city in the UK – and no two stories of immigration are the same. Since the end of the First World War, Edinburgh has played a defining role in welcoming and promoting cultural exchange in Europe. Ultimately, whatever happens beyond Brexit, we want our city to remain a welcoming place for artists and others and I think the City Art Centre’s hugely relevant exhibition will strike a chord with us all.”
Another Country Curator Euan Gray said: ‘At this important time, when we prepare to alter our ties with Europe and redefine our borders following Brexit, it seems more relevant than ever to explore the theme of immigration, consider who we are and question our sense of belonging.’