Nomadism – Who can afford it?

Nomadism means changing a residential location in search of better living conditions. Nomads travel to survive.

According to Gilles Deleuze’s theory, nomadism is a movement between the codes of the world in order to shift their meaning, to confuse, and, in more radical cases, to change the rules. Nomadism stands for a radical, creative way of thinking that resists existing power relations.

In her book “Nomadic Subjects”, Rosi Braidotti develops Deleuzian thought from a feminist perspective. She describes female subjectivity as a process of transgressing established identities in the direction of “alternative figurations” in order to discover new representations beyond the standard phallocentric vision of the subject.

Nomadism, for Deleuze and in Braidotti’s work, is an intellectual construct that is tied to a lifestyle regarded as independent of economical and geopolitical constraints.
There are different nomads: those who enjoy the ability to move between cultural codes, languages, and geographical locations, with a subjectivity that never becomes fixed, and others who are forced by political, economic or social reasons to flee.

I would like to pose the following questions: Who is actually now in a position to freely choose a nomadic way of life? Is it only the privilege of the well-off?

Should the nomadic position be an uncomfortable one, in a state of confusion and tension? Isn’t it paradoxical that some nomads move within a stable and established system as academics, university students with scholarships, or artists involved in the international art market, while other nomads dream of stability?

How can we use theories about nomadism to describe the current situation? How can we connect theory and art with the urgency of contemporary nomadic experience?

These and other questions I would like to discuss with the invited artists and curators.

(Text: Zofia nierodzinska, Veronika Albrandt)