Tate Modern Talk

Art in Real Life: Migration

​Olafur Eliasson: Green light – An artistic workshop In collaboration with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, 2016
57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia VIVA ARTE VIVA, 2017
Photo: Damir Zizic​ 

How can artists and arts institutions respond to the migrant crisis?

We live in a time of mass migration where the global movement of people has reached a record high. Since 2015, what has come to be known as Europe's 'migrant crisis' has dominated headlines, becoming a key battleground in a febrile and shifting political landscape.

This event is an opportunity to consider the challenges, aspirations, and inspirations of dealing with this subject through art and in the art sector generally. How are artists addressing the subject? What does art bring in contrast to the political rhetoric, the media hype and the alarmist headlines? Is the art sector too removed from ‘real life’ – or are we confusing art with activism and politics?

Part of the evening will include Imran Perretta film 15 Days, inspired by the time that he spent in Northern France with former inhabitants of the Jungle. Larissa Sansour will show clips from her films including her current work at the Venice Biennale. These combine to raise questions about freedom of movement, identity, and representation, in a consideration of the impact of borders and of various forms of exclusion on people’s lives. ​

Please note the location of this event has changed to the East Room, Level 6, Natalie Bell Building, Tate Modern.

hands resting on knees

​Imran Perretta the destructors 2019. Film still. Produced by Chisenhale Gallery and Spike Island, Bristol, and commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery; Spike Island; the Whitworth, The University of Manchester; and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. Courtesy the artist.


Larissa Sansour

Larissa Sansour works mainly with film and installation. In her recent works, she uses science fiction to address social and political issues. In 2019, Sansour represented Denmark at the 58th Venice Biennial. Her works have been shown widely in galleries, museums as well as film festivals. Sansour currently lives and works in London, UK.

​Michaela Crimmin

Michaela Crimmin is co-director of Culture+Conflict, a not-for-profit agency focusing on art produced in response to international conflict. She is artistic director of a related major EU-funded four-year programme of work titled 4Cs: From Conflict to Conviviality through Creativity and Culture, on behalf of the Royal College of Art, the UK partner.

Imran Perretta

Imran Perretta (b. 1988, London) lives and works in London. Encompassing moving-image, sound, performance and poetry, Perretta’s work explores ideas of biopower, marginality and the (de)construction of cultural histories. Perretta is a graduate of the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (2014).​

Tate Modern

East Room
Level 6, Natalie Bell Building
London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

18 November 2019 at 18.30–20.00