Tawanda Chiweshe

Welcome, 2016

Milled Aluminium 

195 x 129 x 75 mm

The issue of Environmentally induced migration is problematic, with estimates suggesting as many as 200 million people will be affected by 2050. At present, environmental migrants are not protected by international laws, to the same degree that those who migrate due to war or political oppression. This project postulates as to some of the realities environmental migrant might face, if the international community granted them access to refugee status.


In the realization that access to refugee status would effectively move the issue of environmental migration out of the boarders in question, and into the hands of the collective international community, a great Irony became apparent:

As the dominant capitalist cultures continue to contribute significantly to ecological instability, the irony is cultures with (alternative) economic spaces that foster ‘sustainable’ practices, will be hit the hardest by ecological instability. As instability develops there will be a growing number of environmental migrants/refugees, and It is likely environmental migrants/refugees will seek refuge in within ‘unsustainable cultures’; with the expectation of assimilation.


The notion of assimilation is what I have explored, in order to illuminate some of psychological demands of the dominant economic arrangement, that is globalised neoliberal capitalism, has on its subjects. What makes climate migrants the ideal subject of my speculation is the fact many come from cultures whose values undermine capitalist logic.


The best example of the impact of the current economic discourse, can be felt within Higher education; which is indicative of much of what has been seen through out most countries adopting notions of limited government (spending), privatisation and austerity. Institutions are being forced into the market, in which growth in and of itself (be it economic or otherwise) is the dominant logic.

This logic also then trickles down to the students, who in the mist of increasing tuition fees struggle to look past how their education can benefit them in strictly economic terms.


It is this logic that that I am trying to induce in climate migrants, that ones first and foremost obligation is to make life choices that will contribute to economic wellbeing.


I have chosen to use the experience of time, to transmit this conditioning. 


BA Central Saint Martins 16



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