How does art shape our experience of belonging?
BRAKC is a Research Centre based at Birkbeck, University of London, co-founded in 2009 by Dr Andrew Asibong (then a lecturer in French Studies at Birkbeck) and Dr Nathalie Wourm (a lecturer in French studies in the Department of Cultures and Languages at Birkbeck).
BRAKC exists in order to promote new perspectives and intellectual debates from the Arts on how people live together, how humans bond, belong, and organise themselves into groupings, on what constitutes “community” and what defines “communities”. While “community studies” figure prominently in the social sciences, they are less commonly associated with the humanities, where the concept of community is considered mainly a philosophical concern. Building partly on the works of philosophers such as Ferdinand Tönnies, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Maurice Blanchot, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Giorgio Agamben, BRAKC aims to reframe the discourse on community to include scholarly studies of its aesthetic dimension. Works of art can be rich sources of conceptualisation, representation, criticism and innovation around issues of belonging and community.