The Artistic Migrant Persona
This study aims to explore how immigrants/expats/refugees adapt to the new cities where they settle, how they relate to their new environments, and how they belong to a new place. It is specifically interested in knowing the essence of their experiences in intercultural dialogue and relationships. The main interest is in misunderstandings, how these are experienced, how they hinder the communication between two people coming from different countries/ backgrounds/ narratives.
As of May 2019, forty-three semi-structured, in-depth interviews were carried out in Paris, İzmir and Havana, with artists, designers and architects that have migrated from their countries of origin temporarily or permanently. More interviews are carried out in Valencia, Palermo, Ljubljana and Berlin. Eventually, the research aims to synthesise the experiences that were gathered through these interviews and interactions and to use the design persona method to develop a migrant persona, which then, can be used to meet the needs of migrants in different scenarios of adaptation and resilience.
The participants were deliberately selected from the creative classes of the society, from artists, designers, architects, curators, filmmakers or other people involved in the culture industry. The audio record of these conversations started to be analyse according to certain paradigms defined within the framework of this research. All the participants were asked to send an artwork or a photograph that reminded them of their transition or adaptation period, their experiences, their emotions. These artworks constitute the visual library of the research. Once a participant is interviewed, they were asked to refer to one more person that would be willing to participate and hence snowball the research.