Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.743255
Title: Rethinking resistance : creativity and potentiality within the UK asylum system
Author: Hughes, Sarah Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 8970
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2018
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Abstract:
This thesis explores the ways in which creativity can produce modes of resistance within the UK asylum system. It argues for a rethinking of resistance across three dimensions: non-linear temporalities; incoherent subjectivities, and lively materialities. The thesis proposes that a focus on creativity allows for a critical engagement with ambiguous moments, materials and subjects that contain the immanent potential to disrupt both the practices and premise of the UK asylum system; to imagine, and thus to open up the possibility, that things can become otherwise. The argument arises from ethnographic research conducted within the multiple spaces of the UK asylum system, working closely with two charities running creative activities in this area: Music in Detention and Crossings. This research produced three main themes which form the focus of the empirical chapters of this thesis. First, the thesis demonstrates how an attention to (non)linear temporalities disrupts the ontologically realist linear time of the state; that music and artwork pulse with discordant rhythms, which bring multiple space-times into the ‘present’. It suggests that this has consequences for how resistance is understood for, when situated within a framing of time as polyrhythmic, it is possible to remain open to the multiplicity of directions that these may moments bring. Second, the thesis moves to focus upon an (in)coherent subject. Drawing upon the interactions of staff and immigration detainees, and the wider place of creative charities within UK asylum system, it argues for the fixed coordinates of intention and opposition to be decentred from narratives of resistance, for to delineate resistance a priori is miss that moments, subjects and materials contain the potential to trouble the performance of the asylum system. Finally, the thesis examines the lively, agentic materials of resistance. It argues that materials contain the potential to form relations that cannot always be predetermined. Crucially however, the thesis demonstrates that whilst the potential for resistance is latent within all relations, the possibility for resistance is not evenly distributed; the topography of possibility is undulating, continually shaped by structural inequalities. Together these chapters make the argument for an attention to the potential for resistance as always-already entangled within the exercise of power; found within the messiness, the fractures and the ambiguities that saturate the UK asylum system. This thesis explores the ways in which creativity can produce modes of resistance within the UK asylum system. It argues for a rethinking of resistance across three dimensions: non-linear temporalities; incoherent subjectivities, and lively materialities. The thesis proposes that a focus on creativity allows for a critical engagement with ambiguous moments, materials and subjects that contain the immanent potential to disrupt both the practices and premise of the UK asylum system; to imagine, and thus to open up the possibility, that things can become otherwise. The argument arises from ethnographic research conducted within the multiple spaces of the UK asylum system, working closely with two charities running creative activities in this area: Music in Detention and Crossings. This research produced three main themes which form the focus of the empirical chapters of this thesis. First, the thesis demonstrates how an attention to (non)linear temporalities disrupts the ontologically realist linear time of the state; that music and artwork pulse with discordant rhythms, which bring multiple space-times into the ‘present’. It suggests that this has consequences for how resistance is understood for, when situated within a framing of time as polyrhythmic, it is possible to remain open to the multiplicity of directions that these may moments bring. Second, the thesis moves to focus upon an (in)coherent subject. Drawing upon the interactions of staff and immigration detainees, and the wider place of creative charities within UK asylum system, it argues for the fixed coordinates of intention and opposition to be decentred from narratives of resistance, for to delineate resistance a priori is miss that moments, subjects and materials contain the potential to trouble the performance of the asylum system. Finally, the thesis examines the lively, agentic materials of resistance. It argues that materials contain the potential to form relations that cannot always be predetermined. Crucially however, the thesis demonstrates that whilst the potential for resistance is latent within all relations, the possibility for resistance is not evenly distributed; the topography of possibility is undulating, continually shaped by structural inequalities. Together these chapters make the argument for an attention to the potential for resistance as always-already entangled within the exercise of power; found within the messiness, the fractures and the ambiguities that saturate the UK asylum system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.743255  DOI: Not available
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