Knut Graw

Knut Graw, working within the context of migration from West Africa to southern Europe, reflects on the epistemic foundations of ethnographic research (and photography), which are to be found in European colonial history, and deals with this historical legacy as a fundamental problem of representation in research and art. Drawing on research with West African migrants in Spain and other Mediterranean settings, he addresses this problematic inheritance by investigating the ways Europe is perceived from the simultaneously internal and external perspective constituted by migratory and diasporic experiences. Taking its starting point from the documentation of heterogeneous, subaltern ideas and perceptions of Europe from within the life-world of migration, the project at the same time interrogates European self-perceptions in relation to its economic and political realities.

For the ISOE exhibition, Graw collaborated with Charlotte Menin.


Knut Graw works as a cultural anthropologist at the University of Leuven, and is an associate member of the „In Search of Europe“ research group. In 2013, he was a research fellow at Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin in the framework of the research group. His research focuses on endogenous hermeneutic practices in Senegal, globalization, and the experience of migration between West Africa and Southern Europe.