Art, Power and Protest: Immigrants’ Artistic Production and Political Mobilisation in France

Angéline Escafré-Dublet

Read this article [PDF, 1.4 MB]

The mobilisation of second generation immigrants in the early 1980s in France has often been studied from the perspective of social movements and political participation. The presence of various forms of artistic creation as crucial vehicles for the expression of this generation has also been mentioned but rarely linked to the mobilisation itself. Drawing from an investigation on artistic initiatives conducted before and after the March for Equality and Against Racism in France (also referred to as the ‘Marche des Beurs’), this paper examines issues of representation, mobilisation and strategies of appropriation as expressed through artistic creation. It argues that immigrants’ artistic production contributes to the expression of minority-related demands by enabling particular interests to be represented and by challenging institutionalised interpretations of culture. It investigates the opportunity for immigrant artists to articulate minority-related demands through artistic creation and analyses the relationship between immigrant artists and cultural institutions.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Escafré-Dublet, Angéline. Art, Power and Protest: Immigrants’ Artistic Production and Political Mobilisation in France. Diversities. 2010, vol.12, no. 1, pp. 4-18, UNESCO. ISSN 2079-6595.  

About the author:

Angéline Escafré-Dublet holds a Ph.D. in modern history from Sciences Po, Paris. She is currently a research fellow in the research unit on International Migration and Minorities at the National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED), Paris. Her research interests focus on the study of migration, and how this relates to matters of politics and culture, in modern Europe and North America. She teaches immigration history at Sciences Po.
For a complete list of her publications, see:
Email: angeline.escafre(at)

Back to top