Museum Theatre, Refugee Artists, Contingent Identities and Heritage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the ‘take-over’ of Manchester Museum as part of Journeys Festival International in 2017 to investigate some of the work that heritage does when refugee artists articulate questions of identity through performance in a heritage site. I investigate how a group of refugee theatre artists mobilized aspects of contingent identity, serving not only to explore their own identities as refugees and as artists, but to momentarily question the apparently stable identities of their audiences and of the heritage site in which they worked. The underpinning questions of this chapter concern the possibilities of holding open moments of surprise and uncertainty in the performance event and beyond; how can we acknowledge and accept levels of complexity and ambiguity engendered by creative work, while making art works in heritage settings that explore delicate but urgent questions of justice, identity and belonging? What can we learn about connections between migration and heritage when refugee artists ‘take-over’ a major cultural institution?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHeritage Discourses in Europe.
Subtitle of host publicationResponding to Migration, Mobility, and Cultural Identities in the Twenty-First Century
EditorsLaia Colomer Colomer, Anna Catalani
PublisherArc Publications
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • refugee artists; identity; heritage


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