Immigrant artists' intercultural identity formation and development process through art making
The present study examines how immigrant artists view their intercultural identity formation and development process through art making. The study is based on a theoretical foundation combining the concepts of identity, immigration and art. Art is commonly seen closely connected to one’s self and experiences, and therefore it is possible that great changes in life, such as immigration, have an influence on one’s art and vice versa. Because immigration is becoming more and more common, it is important to take into account also the emotional aspect of immigration through listening the thoughts and experiences of the people who are immigrants themselves to get more information about the ways people make sense of living in a foreign culture. In the theoretical part of the study first the concepts of immigration and cultural identity are discussed, from which the focus proceeds to the connections between immigration, art and cultural identities. This study aims to answer two main research questions about immigrant artists’ perceptions and experiences of their intercultural identity formation process and the meaning of art for this process: (1) what are the key meanings and purposes of making art to immigrant artists in Finland and (2) how do immigrant artists investigate their intercultural identities through art making in Finland? The study is a qualitative study with a phenomenological approach. The data of the study was collected through semi-structured interviews of 12 immigrant artists from different fields of art living in Finland. The results of the study show that making art had a very important role in the lives of these artists. Making art had a variety of meanings for them varying from the meanings for one’s own well-being and investigating oneself to communication with other people. The study also showed some signs that making art might be used in the process of investigating cultural identities but it did not show any clear explanations how this was done. ...
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