This essay addresses the interplay between structure and agency, oppression and resistance, as pertains to the Refugee and Forced Migration subject, and the particular opportunity revealed through artistic form. First, a critique of the structures and predominant discourse surrounding the subject presents the ramifications and constraints inherent in traditional modes, which objectify, simplify, and oppress. Into this context enters the unique intervention and alternative presented by the Bildungsroman, that is, the “novel education” provided by this literary form, which grants agency to the Refugee and Forced Migration subject in the re-construction of his or her own coming-of-age through narrative. Through the delineation of this process in the critical reading of three such novels, a dynamic view of subject-formation and non-canonical experience challenges the norm – indeed, as this essay argues, discourse becomes the means through which the Refugee and Forced Migration subject (re)-constitutes him- or her-self, in a narrative space for releasing, expressing, and connecting what has otherwise been repressed, denied, or disconnected through exile and displacement. To conclude, this project’s efforts for further examination and appreciation of such works may be seen to open the field for more shared insights and co-mingled understandings of identity, belonging, and communication.
Budny, A. (2019), "The Art of Re-
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited