In this talk Gunaratnam will engage with Christina Sharpe’s ideas about weathering to demonstrate how she has used speculative and creative methods to investigate how migrant bodies can bear and express the weight of living in climates of racialised hostility and debilitation. Drawing from her research with migrants and refugees in English hospitals, hospices and in the community, Gunaratnam has followed Saidiya Hartman in giving attention to ‘the terror of the mundane and quotidian rather than exploit the shocking spectacle’. She will present examples of a methodology that brings together empirical materials with the expressive arts to reconstruct climates of hostility in order to evidence their long drawn out force. The method attends to the complex sensual and organic residues of how social injustice and violation can be lived and carried in the body at the end of life, as well as how liminal states such as deliria and hallucinations can intimate constellations of untold experience. Gunaratnam will discuss how art can sometimes evoke, if only fleetingly, what is withdrawn from the now, from thought and from symbolisation Temporal otherness and complex embodiment are key themes.

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