H STUDIO RESEARCH HONOURS EXEGESIS 15
Narrativeof roots and the way emotions play a role in the lives of migrants
Table of Contents
The narrative of roots among Migrants 4
Migration and emotional manipulation 6
Emotional Manipulation by Matthew Stone 6
Separation and connection in the migrant experience 8
Migration and acculturation 10
Emotion regulation 11
Authentic Emotions by Sandy Rubinfeld 12
Thispaper presents an exegesis on the narrative of roots and the wayemotions play a role in the lives of migrants. Literally, roots areinterpreted as part of a plant that supports it by offeringnourishment and water from the underground. In the human context,roots can be perceived as the origin that accords one to the cultureand behavior that they exhibit. Losing one’s roots can be likenedto losing identities. Therefore, it is important that human beingsremain grounded in their roots so as to experience the self-worth andinner peace that comes with it. In most cases, artists tend toconcentrate on the migration, mark making or emotions separately.This work is quite unique in that it involves mark making to reflectthe emotions of the migrants. The main theme is the emotions andsubjects that are involved. This entails painting the background andprinting it using black and white colors. Thereafter, it will be puton Photoshop. A detailed analysis of these images in connection withthe theme forms the basics in this paper. Migration,according to Nina and colleagues (1971), is ‘a process thatdetaches people from their natives, that is, from the networks oftheir family and friends, and from other socially substantialreference that have strong emotive implications.’ These referentsmay include sacred spaces and objects, landscapes, daily routines andpractices, as well as language. In so doing, their emotions are alsodetached (Nina et al., 1971). However, studies show that the processof detaching emotions is very complex and very hard. People who tendto live together have emotional experiences that are similar innature. This is true even in cultures. This is clearly illustrated byMobile Elites (2015) who argue that emotions cause a sharp reliefambivalence that is experienced by numerous migrants irrespective oftheir seeming pleasure. People who live together, cooperate orinteract tend to become more emotionally the same over time. Thisimplies that the emotions of people tend to be adjusted to theirlasting social relationships. In the same way, people who engage inthe same cultural settings do share same patterns of emotions.
Thenarrative of roots among Migrants Thedevelopment of globalization and the ever-increasing transnationalmigration fundamentally alters the frameworks for developingidentities, a sense of belonging as well as the citizenship forethnic minorities and the ethnic majorities. The trend of thesemigrations poses a challenge to the local and the nationalcommunities as well as the typical model of residency. This occursdue to the influence it has on the emotions of the immigrants. Thereis, therefore, a call to determine the link between migration andbelonging (Svasek,2012).Sociologists and anthropologists have developed a series of aspectsconcerning the shifting and the overlapping identities that arise dueto increased transnational migration. The immigrants are compelledby cultural shift to accept the conditional nature of the entiretruth and certainties. It is very hard for immigrants to be not in aposition to call to mind his or her native place and nativityemotionally. In the same way, this displacement entails a doubleidentity, which is at once partial, plural and singular. Rushdie, inImaginaryHomelands arguesthat “a person’s identity is at once plural and partial. At timesthey feel that they straddle two cultures, at other times they fallbetween two couches. Nevertheless, however vague and shifting thisground may be, it is not an infertile territory for an immigrantwriter to occupy”(Rushdie, 1991). Paul(2005) reiterates the same facts by highlighting the emotionalresponses to art. He explains the evolution of art from the ancienttimes where artists have used art to evoke, modify and shape thehuman feelings. According to Paul, there is a need for the study ofpsychology of emotions in order to have the capacity to express themthrough works of art. It is clear that the diversity of eventsincluding the change of environment of the migrants, has beenillustrated as the major factor that raises emotions. This is a clearindication that the extent of the level of emotions is in such amanner that whenever the term immigrant is mentioned, the only thingthat controls the mind of an individual is poor conditions of livingand negative emotions for the subjects entailed. A good example ofthis is the paintings of Jesus Leguizamo, who uses a combination ofrealistic elements of the portrait and abstract to form surrealpieces that depict emotion.
Insuch paintings, there is a feeling as that of the intimate peeks inthe state of mind and emotions of an individual. The expressivebrush-strokes seem to convey the raw sense of mental commotion orconfusion. A situation that is commonly experienced by migrants. Theytend to be in a state of confusion as there is some competencebetween their original culture and the host culture.
Migration and emotional manipulation
Whenmigration takes place, there is a lot of emotional manipulation. Theoriginal emotions, which in this case are the roots, are forced tochange and adapt those that are favored by the new environment. Asthe means by which immigrants sense the structure of their broadenvirons, emotion can be comprehended to connect the physical body tothe outside world. For instance, the Mexican immigrants in NorthAmerica commonly link to emotional suffering which includes riskyborder crossings, pre-migration stress, detention and deportation,undocumented status of citizenship, family separation and extremepoverty (Zoranna et al., 2014). The emotional suffering often remainsmasked by the person and detached from both the structural causesthat underwrite to it and from its extensive and devastating impacton the body. This was well illustrated by Mathew Stone in hispaintings on emotional manipulations.
EmotionalManipulation by Matthew Stone
Thisartwork by Stone features colorful and large brush-strokes that arecreated using photography while sustaining the tangible qualities ofthe painting. In art, Emotional Manipulation is a combination ofmodern and traditional techniques with digital paintings. This is inline with some of my paintings where I have used large brush-strokesthat dissect canvas in a similar manner like limbs (Svasek,2012).I create the paintings on a glass surface, then photographed theresults and manipulated the results digitally in Photoshop.
Inthis painting, there is a sense of emotional manipulation. One cannotbe able to identify the origin. It takes one more time to try andidentify some patterns. At the center, the painting is somehow darkercompared to the parts away from the center. In the lives of migrants,this happens when they are detached from their origin. Their emotionsare manipulated by the new environment, thus making the initialculture to fade away. The artistic work of Mathew creates texturesand motions that cannot be attained by just using the paint,eliminating the marks that are unsolicited and dealing with colorsbefore printing subsequent collections on a hand-primed canvas madeof raw linen (Henrikt al., 2008).
Intheir book “Transnational: A New Analytic Framework forUnderstanding Migration”, Nina and the colleagues illustrate thereal life experiences by the level of dissatisfaction among theimmigrants. They argue that despite the well-paid jobs the immigrantsare having, they still live unhappy lives. In such situations, moneyis not the cause of their unhappy life, but the roots and emotions.The fact that they are not in their native countries, the emotions ofthese immigrants are being manipulated by their current situations.In so doing, they tend to forget their roots.
Separationand connection in the migrant experience Themigrants are first of all separated to their roots and then connectedto the new culture and environment. Many scholars working on thisissue have given a lot of emphasis on the significance of focussingon emotional dimensions of migration. This has been lacking in therecent discourses of much migration discourses (Henrik t al., 2008).Most of the time, it is very hard for one to be separated from his orher roots. They do this in search of something better either peaceor green pasture. Nevertheless, the roots still play a big role intheir lives. Despite the perceived assurance of becoming more secureeconomically at a time when one migrates from one place to another,the procedure of migration has significant impacts on the familiesand individuals. This impact can be expressed in art asShugrina et al., (2006) explains. The scholars demonstrate theempathic paintings, which mirror the emotional state of the viewer.This clearly explains the perceived state of the migrants. Thescholars use painterly stylization that allows interactive usersessions that the user can specify the emotional ambience, which theywant, conveyed using certain artistic rendering such as anger,despair or delight. This nature of separation and connection can befurther explained by my art work which is more or a photoshop.
Inthis art work, the theme of separation and connection to the roots isevident. This piece of work depicts the grass growing with differentcolors. One cannot easily track the origin. Some colors are fadingaway while others indicate some life. Nevertheless, I have made thisart to look bushy because as far as the immigrants are separated fromtheir roots, they just join other immigrants and instead of relievingthemselves, they find life to be harder since they have to scramblefor the limited resources. Many people are separated from their rootsand connected to the new environment, making them surpass theavailable resources for the immigrants hence a number of them startsuffering emotionally. This is represented by the fading leaves aswell as the brown ones which may indicate completely destroyed. Roots are a source of water to the plants and if theplant is separated, there is a high likelihood of death. Migrationalways entails separation of the migrating individual or unit fromthe cultural links. The impact that such separation has on members ofthe family can be intense, including impacts on emotional affection.The outcome may be a sense of non-fulfillment, a redefining ofidentities and responsibilities of both the immigrants and theextended families, or surrogate affection. The distress of separationfrom the roots could lead to symptoms such as depression or anxietyamong the immigrants (Svasek, 2012).
Migrationand acculturation Ourfocus in this paper is the narrative of roots and their impact in thelives of immigrants. When people migrate, they do not abandon theirbeliefs or expressions of pain no matter what the circumstances oftheir migration. These beliefs are only manipulated, but notcompletely ignored. The beliefs have an impact on their idioms ofsuffering that influence the way they express signs and the behaviourof seeking help. This leaves a mark on the emotions of theimmigrants. Ofsted Publications (2009) gives an emphasis on the needto have good skills to enable one to make marks in art and recommendsthe significance of learning institutions to have a clear strategytowards promoting art, craft and design through mark making. The workin the publication informs the experiences of the immigrants in termsof acculturation.
Thisexperience informed one of my works represented below:
Fromthis piece of work, it is easier to interpret the emotions depictedfrom it. It can easily be interpreted that though the paintingindicates some kind of originality, the origin is like beingabandoned as it deviates from the roots (Ducasse, 2007). However, inthe new environment, the same pattern can be seen forming from adistance, a clear indication that the origin is not completelyabandoned despite the different conditions. Researchsuggests that the process of acculturation is akin to thepsychological models of moving away from, towards or against astimulus (Henrik et al., 2007). In this case, the stimulus is theroots. It has all it takes to make the immigrants what they have tobe. Whatever changes that are brought about by the circumstances towhich the roots are exposed correspond to the adaptation orsimulation, de-acculturation and rejection. The process ofacculturation is therefore influential to the emotions of theimmigrants and for it to occur, there should be an interactionbetween two cultures in which both experience some change. For themigrants, they move with their culture to indulge or adapt a newculture that hosts them (Svasek, 2012). In this way the host isexposed to a change brought about by the immigrants who cannotabandon their culture completely.
Emotionregulation Sincethey are exposed to conditions that stimulate their emotions,immigrants have to develop ways in which they can control theiremotions. Emotion regulation can be defined as a process of modifyingexperiences as well as the expression of emotions. This process has agreat influence on mental health since the emotional dis-regulationis a key aspect of depression and anxiety. Even though comprehendingthe nature of emotions is a challenge, most scholars agree that anemotion can be best explained as an emotional process, which entailsseveral interrelated elements such as cognitive appraisal of anoccurrence those catalyses an emotion, physiological changes, actiontendencies and emotional expressions (Ducasse, 2007).
Inart, Sandy Rubinfeld made a painting that illustrates a raw pictureof an authentic emotion person.
AuthenticEmotions by Sandy Rubinfeld
Thisclearly indicates the effect of an emotion that is not regulated. Thepainting is deeply expressive and too emotional. The artist usedroughly hewn works to create a link between the atmosphere narrativebeneath the expression. This piece of work depicts he portrayal ofthe feelings through a metaphorical technique rather than the realismdepiction of subjects. Same applies to one of my paintings of thebackground.
Inthis painting, there is a depiction of dropping colouring. It is aclear indication of lack of control. As the painting separates thusdropping in a non-uniform manner, they leave a mark behind. A markthat can easily be traced. Emotions are the effect of change of thenorm. The immigrants are exposed to new conditions that they are notused to hence they have to be so emotional. However, if theseemotions are not regulated, the impact may be severe. Amber (2011)describes the different conditions like trauma, which can beexpressed and healed through art. The research claims that variousconditions have been treated through art therapy (Amber, 2011). Thesame sentiments were echoed by Ismay (1986). Ismay argues that acertain piece of work can have an expressive nature showing thatemotions must reflect the problem and that it is not only theconscious entities that can have emotions. He illustrates that art isboth a psychological and critical activity other than beingphilosophical. To control their emotions, the immigrants can resolveto turn to artwork.
Conclusion Thisproject sought to investigate the narrative of roots and the impactof emotions in the lives of immigrants. The paper has given a briefnarrative of roots and their impact on the lives of immigrants. Thedevelopment of globalization and the ever-increasing transnationalmigration fundamentally alters the frameworks for developingidentities, a sense of belonging as well as the citizenship forethnic minorities and the ethnic majorities. The paper has alsotouched on migration and manipulation of emotions and theirconnections to art and paintings. Asthe means by which immigrants sense the structure of their broadenvirons, emotion can be comprehended to connect the physical body tothe outside world. It is clear that the narrative of roots and theemotions play a significant role in the lives of immigrants.
Amber,E. L. (2011). Expressive arts therapies: Working with survivors oftorture. Torture21 (1),pp. 39-47.
Ducasse,C. J. (2007). Artand the Language of the Emotions. TheJournal of Aesthetics andArt Criticism 23 (1), pp.109-112.
Henrik,H., Reidar, H. & Vanessa, M. P. (2008). The Perception andEvaluation of Visual Art. EmpiricalStudies of the Arts 26 (2), pp.197-218.
Ismay,B. (1986). How Does Art Express Emotions? TheJournal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism,45 (2),pp. 175-181.
MobileElites. (2015). Deconstructing Belonging in Lifestyle Migration:Tracking the Emotional Negotiations of the British in Rural France.EuropeanJournal of Cultural Studies,pp. 1-23.
Nina,G. S., Linda, B. and Christina, B. (1971). Transnational: A NewAnalytic Framework for Understanding Migration. New York. Annals NewYork Academy of Sciences.
OfstedPublications. (2009). Making a Mark: Art, Craft and Design Education.England.
PaulJ. S. (2005). Emotional responses to art: From collation and arousalto cognition and emotion. Reviewof General Psychology, 9, pp.342-357
Shugrina,M., Betke, M. and Collomosse, J., 2006, June. Empathic painting:interactive stylization through observed emotional state. InProceedingsof the 4th internationalsymposium on Non-photorealistic animation and rendering(pp. 87-96). ACM.
Svasek,M., (2012). Movingsubjects, moving objects: transnationalism, cultural production andemotions (Vol.1). Berghahn books.
Zorana,I., Jessica, H. and Marc, B. (2014). Creativity, Emotions and Arts.Santander, Spain. Botín Foundation.