Borders, Thresholds and Collective Identities

Borders of all kinds have been severely tested or undermined recently by the pressures and forces of globalization. The conflict in Syria and subsequent ongoing refugee crisis in Europe is the clearest example. The Brexit vote provokes many questions about the future of the country in Europe and beyond. 2017 is the 70th anniversary of the division of India from the newly created state of Pakistan – a historic event with particular significance for the people of Birmingham with Asian heritage.

Left to right: Bashir Makhoul, Shadi Habib Allah and Larissa Sansour

During this academic year students and staff at Birmingham School of Art are urged to think and make work about borders and thresholds of all kinds that may have been newly created or breached – these might be intellectual, artistic, physical, social, political or cultural. The School of Art itself might be thought of as a threshold across which its occupants must move: into the city, the country and the wider world. But with what purpose? The most innovative responses to this theme from students will be rewarded at the end of the academic year next summer.