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Art and Migration Online Short Course

Course description

Displacement and migration have been central to the human experience since the beginning of time. Throughout history people have travelled due to political, environmental and economic circumstances. Despite this, central discourses on migration often reinforce dangerous stereotypes of immigrants rather than bringing to light the human stories, suffering, contributions and rights of individuals. Art has the power to impact us in ways that discourse alone cannot, evoking empathy and reflection in place of desensitization and disconnection.

This online short course led by artist Sara Shamsavari will look at the history of art and migration and the crucial role of art in redefining and reimagining migration, displacement and belonging. Through critical exploration of the work and lives of a broad assemblage of artists from Mark Rothko to Kara Walker you will gain an understanding of the power of art to challenge pre conceived ideas and negative associations with migration today.

Who should attend this online short course?

This online short course is aimed at anyone interested in gaining an overview of the history of migration and art and contemporary artists addressing these themes, whether artist, curator, collector or enthusiast. Individuals within arts and charitable organisations working with artists from migrant or refugee backgrounds would also benefit.


After this session you will:

  • Have an introduction to the the history of migration in art
  • Gain a fresh perspective on well known artworks created by migrants and their relevance today
  • Learn the importance of contemporary art in redefining and reimagining displacement and migration
  • Be challenged on perceptions of migration and the role of art as a catalyst for change

This online short course offers:

  • Expert knowledge from industry professionals
  • Opportunities to meet other like-minded creatives
  • A chance to join the conversation with a live Q&A
  • Opportunity to upskill and develop professional practices
  • Participants will receive a certificate upon completion

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.


This online short course will cover:

  • An overview of the history of art and migration
  • Displacement, memory and belonging in art
  • Society and politics in art
  • Contemporary Artists redefining and reimagining migration
  • Art as a catalyst for change


To take part in this online short course you will need:

  • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Chrome)
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended. The built-in microphone in your device would also be fine)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection - we recommend a minimum of 2 Mbps download, and 1 Mbps upload, faster if possible. You can test your network speed here -

We recommend you have:

  • A notebook
  • A pen
Meet the Tutor:

This two-hour online short course is an introduction to the history of art and migration and the role of art in redefining migration, displacement and belonging.

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