And the Vampires Flow Towards the West: The Ecological Poetics of Eastern European Migration in the UK

Damian Martin, Diana (2018) And the Vampires Flow Towards the West: The Ecological Poetics of Eastern European Migration in the UK. GPS: Global Performance Studies, 2 (1). ISSN 2574-027X


In the UK, words used to describe Eastern European countries continuously turn to movement, specifically to ‘flood’, ‘overflow’ and ‘flock’, as well as ‘tide’, and are often accompanied by meteorological language of prediction, including ‘migration flows’ and forecasting. These ecological descriptors evidence a speculative poetics of movement that pertains more widely to migration and its representation, conflating territorial boundaries, geopolitical jurisdictions and the nation-state in a neoliberal, and necessarily transnational circulation, against an unfolding ecological crisis causing irreparable damage across communities. This essay explores the relationship between the representational poetics of Eastern Europeans in the UK, that of movement in the work of two artists from the region, arguing for the emergence of subjectivities of the Anthropocene: plural, ecological and displaced.

The project turns to two distinct, UK-based encounters with bodies that have arrived at movement, through movement, in and around the time of the Brexit referendum, and following on from the termination of transitional measures for A2 EU countries: Polish artist Justyna Scheuring’s Everyone, Merry Go Round (Canal Gallery, London, 2017) and Romanian artists Manuel Pelmus and Alexandra Pirici’s Public Collection (Tate Modern, London, 2016).
The essay is presented as a four-part audio performance, that is in dialogue with a work of speculative fiction which draws together descriptions of choreographic incidents within these works. These are reset in a damaged future landscape as an exercise in representational poetics.


Published Version - HTML (Journal Article. OPEN ACCESS: Click on the Download button or Official URL, bottom left of the screen)
  • Available under License All-Right-Reserved

Export and Share

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email