For necessity or pleasure? Towards a politics of artists’ mobilities | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-4344
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4352



There is a great deal of literature on east–west European migration that argues that push factors for moving West are discrepancies in economic situation and living standards. The British press similarly says that there is ‘a new wave of labour migration’ of those ‘seeking out better wages’. However, what is not asked is whether there are any other kinds of movement from Eastern Europe. This article will, instead, look at Eastern European migration through the lens of artists. However, artists are not normal migrators as they take part in a perpetual movement across Europe. Their particular type of short-term, multi-directional movement can be better described as mobility. In order to demonstrate this, I explore the mobility patterns of artists from the Baltic cities of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius, where cross-border movement out of these emerging art cities is vital for survival and for getting onto the global art market. While these artists might be seen as an elite mobile class who can move at ease, I will dispel this myth by charting the underlying politics of their mobilities.


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