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Alumna Raluca Bejan traces the space of the refugee crisis in a new exhibition at the UNB Art Centre


TRACE: Tracing the Space of the Refugee Crisis — an exhibition by FIFSW MSW and PhD alumna Raluca Bejan and collaborator Ioan Cocan — opens at the University of New Brunswick Art Centre January 17.

Curated by Natasha Lan, a Toronto-based curator and artist (who also happens to be a long-time FIFSW administrator currently on secondment), TRACE features 14 large format digital prints as well as an award-winning documentary film that examines the 2015 European refugee crisis.

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is showcasing a complementary exhibit in its Bruno Bobak Artist-in-Residence studio until February 7.

From the UNB Art Centre’s press release:

As our experience of the refugee crisis was translated through media accounts that focussed on the spectacle of human suffering, we saw images of overcrowded tents, overloaded boats, and children dying on the Mediterranean shores. In this exhibit, Raluca Bejan and Ioan Cocan turn this mediatized gaze outwards, in order to scrutinize the ‘spaces’ in which people seek refuge. The photos play with the Derridian notion of ‘trace’ to create a symbolic topography of the refugee crisis and to mark the absence of a former presence. What we experience is the haunting silence of this absence.

Raluca Bejan was born in Focșani, Romania. She received her BA in Political Sciences from Lucian Blaga University, Sibiu, Romania, and MSW and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto. She was Visiting Academic at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, UK, in 2016 and 2018. Currently, Raluca is Assistant Professor in Social Work at Dalhousie University, and formerly Assistant Professor at Saint Thomas University.

Ioan Cocan works in media arts and graphic design. He obtained his BA from the University of Fine Arts, Bucharest, Romania and a Master in Fine Arts, Interactive Media and Environments, from Frank Mohr Institute for Graduate Art Studies and Research in the Arts and Emerging Media, Hanzehogeschool University, Groningen, The Netherlands.

The exhibition at the UNB Art Centre runs until February 14.

> Visit UNB’s website for more information.

> Click here to view the TRACE documentary trailer.

> Read Raluca Bejan’s recent article “Why some EU countries are struggling to relocate migrants” in The Conversation.