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Reading: Moving Feelings, Intimate Moods and Migrant Protest in Cardiff


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Moving Feelings, Intimate Moods and Migrant Protest in Cardiff


Alida Payson

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In a public mood of marked hostility around asylum, emotion overflows protest media produced as part of recent migrant mobilisations. Protest media seeks to touch audiences, to stir public feeling for migrants, to build a sense of collectivity, and to move the collective to action, but the emotional modes used also work sideways to produce uneasy and unpredictable affects. This article examines the ‘cultural politics of emotion’(Ahmed 2004) in three pieces of media produced as part of recent refugee protests in Cardiff, Wales: a book of asylum-seeking women’s testimonies, a series of antideportation blog posts and videos, and a ‘Refugee House’ museum installation. Feelings declared outright, such as love, rage and despair, work to move publics outright, but also relegate participants into confined genres of action and subjectivity. Uneasy effects generated through the media’s aesthetics and materiality stir up other, more ambivalent and mobile emotional modes. This article explores the qualities of these uneasy affects, and how they might alter moods around asylum for political effect.

How to Cite: Payson, A., 2015. Moving Feelings, Intimate Moods and Migrant Protest in Cardiff. JOMEC Journal, (7), p.None. DOI:
Published on 30 Jun 2015.
Peer Reviewed


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