Migration is a dynamic process. It moves and morphs, slips and slides, ebbs and flows. The M2Lab seeks innovative ways to capture, record, express, or imagine this movement in the context of wider social and cultural practices. Browse projects to explore stories, photos, videos, and writing from the unique perspectives of our contributors.
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Partnerships & Collaborations
Neta Alexander is a New York-based media scholar. After earning a PhD from New York University and a M.A from Columbia University, she is now an Assistant Professor in the Film and Media Department at Colgate University, New York. Her work focuses on digital culture, film and media, and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Her award-winning analysis of buffering revealed the understudied ways in which latency and delay are inherent to digital systems and infrastructures. She is widely published, and her writing has been translated into German, Slovenian, French, and Hebrew. Her interest in studying the intersections of migration and media has led her to explore the global digital divide and the difference between connectivity and access to knowledge. As a native of Israel, she published essays on the Nakba Film Festival and "the new violence movement" in contemporary Israeli cinema, focusing on cinematic representations of migration, war, and homelessness.
Lily Cho’s research focuses on diasporic subjectivity within the fields of cultural studies, postcolonial literature and theory, and Asian North American and Canadian literature. She is co-editor of Human Rights and the Arts: Perspectives on Global Asia. This book rethinks the contexts and subjects of human rights by taking its lead from writers, artists, filmmakers and dramatists in Asia and the Asian diaspora. Her book, Eating Chinese: Culture on the Menu in Small Town Canada, examines the relationship between Chinese restaurants and Canadian culture. She is currently conducting research on a set of Chinese Canadian head tax certificates known as "C.I. 9's." These certificates mark one of the first uses of identification photography in Canada. Drawing from this archive, her research explores the relationship between citizenship, photography, and anticipation as a mode of agency. For more information on this project, please see: https://masscapture.ca. Whether they are in the form of Chinese restaurant menus or identification photographs, an interest in the media of migration grounds Cho’s research.
Lily Cho is currently associate dean of Global and Community Development in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies at York University in Canada.
Dana Diminescu is Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in sociology at Télécom ParisTech engineering school. At present she is director of DiasporasLab and member of the Cultural Analytics program at IPAM/UCLA. She is known for her work on the “connected migrant,” (her empirical work enabled her to approach varied fields ranging from uses of mobile phone and voice IT, Internet, m-transactions by migrants in a variety of transnational and local use situations: mobility and mobilisation, integration strategies, cross-bordering, web diasporas, ethnic business, migration lifecycles), and for a number of epistemological and methodological innovations in her research, questioning classical theories in migration studies. In particular, she designed and coordinated the e-Diasporas Atlas project, which was first runner up of its category for the 2012 Digital Humanities Awards.
Nicky Falkof is a media and cultural studies scholar based at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa. She holds a PhD in Humanities and Cultural Studies from the London Consortium, University of London (2011). Her research centres on race and anxiety in the urban global south, with a primary focus on South Africa. Her first scholarly book, The End of Whiteness (Palgrave 2014/Jacana 2015), considers moral panics about Satanism and family murder that appeared among white people in the late apartheid period. She has written extensively on satanic panic in South Africa and also publishes on popular culture, on subjects as diverse as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Body Worlds exhibition. She is interested in the representation of African migrants in the South African press in terms of scapegoating, moral panic and migration as a source for social anxiety, as well as discourses surrounding elite (white) migration in the global south.
In 2017 she won the South African National Research Foundation’s Excellence Award for Emerging Researchers. She has also been awarded a Bellagio Centre Residency by the Rockefeller Foundation, a Wits University Friedel Sellschop award for early career researchers, a fellowship from the African Humanities Programme and various grants and fellowships from the NRF, the Mellon Foundation and the University of London. She been a visiting fellow at Sussex University and the University of Dar-es-Salaam. Her work has appeared in publications including The Journal of Popular Culture, The International Journal of Cultural Studies, Feminist Media Studies and The New York Times.
Evan Light is an Assistant Professor in and coordinator of the bilingual Communications Program at Glendon College, York University and a 2018 York University Research Leader. He is a faculty member of Glendon’s Master’s of Public and International Affairs, Master’s of Translation Studies and York’s Graduate Program in Communication and Culture. A member of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies and the Algorithmic Media Observatory, and an associated researcher with the Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la communication, l’information et la société (CRICIS), Light is also director of Border Probes, a research project documenting experiences crossing the US- Canadian border and the border surveillance apparatus. He publishes widely on issues of privacy, surveillance and communication policy. Evan is equally the creator and maintainer of the Snowden Archive-in-a-Box, an offline archive of the Edward Snowden files which has been exhibited in Canada, the U.S., UK, Germany, Serbia and Italy. He is a Senior Fellow at Ryerson University’s Centre for Free Expression where he assists in planning whistleblowing infrastructure. Evan’s translation of Aimé-Jules Bizimana’s The Embedding Apparatus: Media Surveillance During the Iraq War was published by Peter Lang in 2017. He approaches migration through the lens of surveillance, seeing the data created from our bodies and our actions as an emerging form of media and text.
The Connection Between Migration and Media
M2Lab is a new initiative designed to engage thinkers, writers, media-makers and the broader community to open up fresh pathways of creativity and dialogue about migration. It harnesses the power of storytelling in all its forms to explore the crafting of the experimental life, the communicative life, the connected life. Using the prism as a guiding metaphor, M2Lab focuses on the processes, and the conditions, of alternative world-building. The prism sits at the intersection of science, art, philosophy, design, and communication. As such, it is emblematic of the unexpected patterns and illuminations we seek to cultivate through the possibilities opened up by contemporary media.
Our projects participate, directly or obliquely, in the larger cultural conversations about immigration, belonging, identity, culture, and citizenship. They explore geographies of difference through the ethic of interactivity inherent in stories. In medias res, migration as story throws us into the middle of things, the place from which a medium starts to operate. Clearing a space, setting up shop, inviting the guests, stories are always a means to other stories. By tapping into the enabling power of stories, we hope to build, over time, models and prototypes of the prismatic consciousness.