Lecture Marathon: Contemporary Metropolises and Migration Flows


From 20 June 2020


Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
Lecture Marathon: Contemporary Metropolises and Migration FlowsLecture Marathon: Contemporary Metropolises and Migration Flows


Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is launching a marathon of lectures with speakers from eight cities: Berlin, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, New York, New Delhi, Paris, and Istanbul.

Megacities are directly involved in global migration flows: the constant movement of people changes their structure and appearance and makes them an important element in the integration of migrants and refugees. Urban spaces can be inclusive (and provide equal opportunities, breaking ethnic and social barriers) or exclude particular communities pushing them to live within their own enclosed worlds. Every megapolis has its own way of dealing with migration.

The lecture marathon presents an attempt to understand these interactions. We have invited researchers from eight cities to speak about their local experience. The marathon is part of the annual festival Point of Displacement dedicated to migration and taking place around the World Refugee Day. 

Lectures are accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors. Events will be interpreted into Russian Sign Language.

How to take part

The event will take place in Zoom and will be broadcast on YouTube.
Lectures will be interpreted into Russian sign language on YouTube.


New Delhi, India

India's capital since the early twentieth century, Delhi—and the National Capital Region—has attracted migrants for over a century, with a dramatic influx in the late 1940s when India and Pakistan were partitioned. Yet the vast majority of Delhi's poor communities, though still living in poorly provisioned informal settlements, are socially and politically integrated into the city's life. Why then did significant numbers of migrants try to leave Delhi when the COVID-19 lockdown disrupted their livelihoods? This talk will leverage the Coronavirus moment to explore the notions of citizenship and belonging among Delhi's migrant populations. Who are Delhi's migrants? What tethers them, what unmoors them? What meanings do they attach to the city and to home? What can we learn from this moment to create a world of justice and opportunity for all?


About the speaker

Mukta Naik is an architect and urban planner, currently a Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, India. She has worked as a planner in the affordable housing sector, and her current research lies at the intersections of migration and urbanization, with a focus on housing, governance, and planning. She has published widely in academic and popular publications and is currently a PhD researcher at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam.



Hong Kong, China

Today, Hong Kong presents itself as the capital of Asia. One objective of the marketing strategy of the city's Brand Hong Kong program is to maintain cultural diversity and a global network of people in a multicultural society. Migration studies and literature are on the rise. In recent years, there has been a growing concern about migrants' rights and livelihoods. In response to the growing number of migrants, the Hong Kong government has implemented various laws, policies, and arrangements. Terence Shum will analyze the Hong Kong migration landscape since the 1980s and discuss three major migration patterns, including labor migration, refugee migration, and education and elite migration. He will look at how the policies and arrangements affect the experiences of different migrant groups during their integration, how migrants adopt various strategies to cope with their everyday life challenges, and how the image of Hong Kong as a city of migration has transformed over decades.


About the speaker

Terence Shum is Research Assistant Professor in the School of Arts and Social Sciences and Research Fellow in Public and Social Policy Research Centre at The Open University of Hong Kong. He is a development anthropologist whose ethnographic interests lie in Asia, particularly with migrants in Hong Kong, China, and Thailand. His research interests cover international migration and refugee studies, inequality and ethnicity, globalization, and multiculturalism. He is the author of Asylum-seeking Journeys in Asia: Refugees in Hong Kong and Bangkok (Routledge, 2019). His current writing project is entitled The African Diaspora in Hong Kong: Migration Journeys, Identity and Home.



Moscow, Russia

How do labor migrants live in Moscow? We have got used to seeing workers from Central Asia and the Caucasus cleaning the streets, offices and shopping malls, and renovating buildings. Recently, we have been seeing a growing number of couriers doing food deliveries, and many among them are migrants. During the pandemic, those couriers have become the main suppliers of food in Moscow. Although we use their services and could hardly imagine our city's life without them, we hardly know anything about their life. Ekaterina Demintseva will present the results of a research project carried out by the National Research University Higher School of Economics over the past few years. Listeners will find out where labor migrants live, whether they come with families, what schools their children attend, what they do in case they fall ill and how they spend their weekends, and why, despite their visibility in the city, we hardly know anything about migrants.

About the speaker

Ekaterina Demintseva is the head of the Centre for Qualitative Social Policy Research at the Institute for Social Policy of by the National Research University Higher School of Economics and associate professor at the University's School of Cultural Studies.



Berlin, Germany

Kira Kosnick's lecture on Berlin will link the city's migration history to its turbulent political history, going back to the early twentieth century, its role as the political and ideological center of Nazi Germany, and its postwar division. She will argue that in order to understand how migrants have been integrated and excluded in Berlin and German society/ies, it is necessary to understand both the changes in the approach to citizenship and the function of cities as points of arrival and transit in global networks.

About the speaker


Kira Kosnick is Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Europa-University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. After obtaining a PhD at the New School for Social Research, New York, she has worked in Great Britain and Germany as a sociologist, cultural analyst, and anthropologist, combining her expertise in migration studies with an interest in urban studies and working on the intersections of migration, gender, racism, and sexuality in urban environments.

The lecture is organized in collaboration with CISR e.V. Berlin.