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Migration throws objects, identities and ideas into flux across a global network of travelling cultures. Examining life-changing journeys that transplanted artists and intellectuals from one cultural context to another, Exiles, Diasporas & Strangers offers a thematic overview of the critical and creative role of estrangement and displacement in the story of 20th-century art.

Revealing the traumatic conditions that shaped numerous variants of modernism – among indigenous artists in Australia and Canada as much as émigré art historians from Central Europe – these critical studies also highlight multidirectional patterns of cross-appropriation that trouble the settled boundaries of national belonging, whether manifested in 1920s Nigeria or in post-modern works by black British artists of the 1980s. Coming up to date with historical perspectives on conceptual art’s engagement with alterity, Exiles, Diasporas & Strangers makes a unique contribution to art history’s rapprochement with the post-colonial turn.

Annotating Art’s Histories series

Featuring internationally renowned scholars and curators at the critical edge of current research in art history, visual culture, and the humanities, Pop Art and Vernacular Cultures is the third volume in the Annotating Art’s Histories series. Newly-comissioned writings are presented alongside bibliographies, translations, and selected reprints of key texts. Building up a richer understanding of cultural difference as a dynamic feature of 20th-century art, this acclaimed series is essential reading for students, practitioners, and anyone curious about cross-cultural interaction in the visual arts.

The Annotating Art’s Histories series is supported by The Getty Foundation.

Other books in the series
Cosmopolitan Modernisms
Pop Art and Vernacular Cultures
Exiles, Diasporas & Strangers

What people say

‘A Duchampian gesture in colonial Nigeria? Aboriginal counter-appropriation? If diaspora is synonymous with dispersal, so Kobena Mercer disperses our notion of it as fixed and its consequences as homogenous. These texts respond to his call for fresh analytical tools and historical paradigms for investigating the contexts and complexities of diasporic aesthetics, remapping the nuanced terrain from which it originates...' Lisa Graziose Corrin Director, Williams College Museum of Art fiasco
‘A brilliant re-reading of the themes of the conventional histories of contemporary art. Eschewing the abstract generalities of high theory for an approach more grounded in individual works and artists, these essays bring an original, more dialogic, exilic, ex-centric, "travelling-cultures" perspective to bear on the migratory routes and cross-cultural entanglements through which - they argue - modern art actually emerges.' Stuart Hall Emeritus Professor, Open University fiasco


ISBN: 978-1-899846-45-0
Softback with flaps, 235 x 180mm
36 colour illustrations
Iniva and The MIT Press

Texts by: Jean Fisher, Sieglinde Lemke, Amna Malik, Steven A. Mansbach, Ian McLean, Kobena Mercer, Ikem Stanley Okoye, Ruth B. Phillips

Artists include:  Black Audio Film Collective, Sonia Boyce, Aaron Douglas, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mona Hatoum, Gavin Jantjes, Oscar Jacobson, Emily Kngwarrey, Jacob Lawrence, Stephen Mopope, Norval Morrisseau, Albert Namatjira, Everlyn Nicodemus, James Onwudinjo, Adrian Piper, Keith Piper, George Swinton, Mitra Tabrizian, John Tiktak

Book design: Untitled