Materialising Migration:

Transcultural Textiles in Germany

Textiles can be considered amongst the oldest manifestations of culture and provide a vehicle for transculturation i.e. the exchange of ideas between cultures. Focusing on the Middle Eastern diaspora in Germany, this project analyses nuanced cultural interactions through contemporary textile art. Over the years German and Middle Eastern cultures have become increasingly interwoven, and this project will analyse the cultural interactions which developed during the 20th century and continue to do so today.

Cultural Threads (2014) edited by Hemmings has shown that textiles can shed light on postcolonial cultural interactions. Additionally, research into the cultural associations of textiles is regularly reported in Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture edited by Catherine Harper. This research project will enhance this field by applying transculturation theories to multidisciplinary textile art created by the Middle Eastern diaspora within Germany. It will use the insights gained to develop understanding of the distinctive contributions of textile artwork to the transcultural encounter between the Middle East and Germany. A further novel aspect of this project is the application to textiles of the weaving metaphors defined by Lionnet and Khatibi to study transcultural encounter in literature. Employing such transculturation theories to analyse textile artwork will enable this project to explore the various socio- political effects of migration.