This book aims to complicate, provoke and problematize these ubiquitous discourses, evolving new textual and interdisciplinary approaches to European cultural policies and unmasking the assumptions of essentialist identity politics that go undeclared at the borders of cultural discourse. Framed by artworks that provide a glimpse of cross-cultural encounters, 12 contributions by leading figures in post-colonial and translation studies, political philosophy, art, radical aesthetics, policy-making and sociology reflect on the political and cultural meanings of migration. Cross-Cultural Identities traces three main themes in exploring the lived reality of European policies of integration: the role of translation in shaping identity construction and enabling the movement of ideas, and art as highlighting symptoms of contemporary malaise, are brought together in the central metaphor of waste - the trail of rubbish left behind by mechanisms of mobility; the excised narratives of wasted identities and people. Beginning with internationally-rewned academic Zygmunt Bauman's contribution on the exclusion and negativing of 'wasted lives' this anthology exposes the contradictions of a Europe that encourages cultural diversities but is obsessed with the perceived threat posed by porous borders. Edited by Nadja Samselberg and Julia Steyn, Cross-Cultural Identities explores the challenges of migration, history and integration to develop radical new figurations of migrant identity, underlining the necessity of an imaginative reach towards the other.
Juliet Steyn is Senior Tutor for Research at the Centre for Cultural Policy and Management, City University, London. Nadja Stamselberg is lecturer at the Cultural Studies Centre, University of London