Drawing from an ethnographic, in this research, I examine an art-based approach on statelessness, I explored how an artistic approach employed by a Dutch NGO and its partner organization present a different perspective on statelessness. Furthermore I have also critically reflected on artistic approach towards statelessness. I show how art can go beyond the predominant legalistic and political framing on statelessness, but still stay married to the same legal and political discourses. The artistic approach emphasizes the creation of radical empathy and feeling for stateless persons, recognizing their hope, agency and resilience power as a human and does not subscribe to the idea that statelessness is only a legal anomaly, a matter of national and international law, yet it struggles to challenge the legalistic and political nature of the problem. Thus, in this research I show how art-based approaches try to take a different path by humanizing the issue of statelessness but fail to overcome the influence of existing discourses on statelessness. I argue that art-based approach employed by these organizations is mainly trying to humanize statelessness through generating empathy for the stateless people, and by recognizing their hope and agency. But it remains a question whether art-based approach are promoting the view, perceptions, and feelings of the stateless people as the art-based approach I have observed lacks this aspect.

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Grabska, Katarzyna (Kasia) Elzbieta
Governance, Migration and Diversity (GMD)
International Institute of Social Studies

Rahman, Md Mizanur. (2019, December 20). Humanizing statelessness through an artistic approach. Governance, Migration and Diversity (GMD). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/51391