Cinema e Media
blind peer review
Università Roma Tre
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore,
Bauhaus University Weimar
Ulrike Mothes is a filmmaker and film researcher. She held teaching positions at the SAE institute, Leipzig (Germany) and Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology, Bangalore (India). In 2010, she became faculty member at Bauhaus University Weimar (Germany). Her critical engagement with local film practice and socio-political matters inspired her PhD research on ‘Open Narrative in Contemporary Indian Documentary Film’. She successfully completed the dissertation at Bauhaus University in 2015.
Transcultural studies often theorize third world diaspora from within the dominant Western context, and its relation to the culture of their postcolonial home. This essay takes on a reversed perspective, aiming to examine filmic representations of two young Western subjects in third world countries. The filmmakers Thomas Brück and Bentley Brown spent their formative years as members of Western diaspora families in Mexico and Chad. Using the medium of film, their work navigates cultures — as the works of certain subaltern immigrant artists and filmmakers in the West do. By analysing their personal documentaries Third Culture Kid and Oustaz, the essay investigates their cinematic means of negotiating transcultural identity across geopolitical borders. Special emphasis is given to the employment of home video material to reconstruct and represent memory.
University for the Arts, Berlin
Maja Figge, PhD, is postdoctoral researcher at the Research Training Group ‘The Knowledge of the Arts’, at the University of the Arts, Berlin. Her research interests include gender, race and media, film and history, postcolonial (media) theory and political feelings. She is co-curator of the exhibition MOV!NG ON. Border Activism — Strategies for Anti-Racist Actions (2005), co-editor of Scham und Schuld. Geschlechter(sub)texte der Shoah (2010) and author of Deutschsein (wieder-)herstellen. Weißsein und Männlichkeit im bundesdeutschen Kino der 1950er Jahre (2015).
Against the backdrop of the media practices of the ‘summer of migration’ in 2015, this article asks if and how cell phone videos recorded by migrants and refugees and circulated via social media channels have not only the capability to change and extend modes of representation. It analyses harraga videos — short cell phone clips of the clandestine passage across the Mediterranean, uploaded on YouTube — by focusing on the act of capture. With reference to Helen Grace and Rey Chow, the essay argues that despite the relative invisibility of the videos, they are not just simple documents, but rather constitute the present of the harraga, and thereby form (local) publics. In this light, they can be understood as a political (media) practice, which intervenes in the visibilities and visualizations of the necropolitical European border regime.
University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’
Michaela Quadraro obtained a PhD in ‘Cultural and Postcolonial Studies of the Anglophone World’ from the University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’, where she is currently a researcher and a member of the Centre for Postcolonial and Gender Studies. Her interests focus on contemporary cultural productions that emerge from an English-speaking context of migration and hybridity. She wrote L’arte digitale postcoloniale. Uno studio sull’opera di Isaac Julien e Trinh T. Minh-ha (2012), co-edited The Postcolonial Museum. The Arts of Memory and the Pressures of History (2014), and co-authored Memorie Transculturali. Estetica contemporanea e critica postcoloniale (2015).
This essay investigates the different ways memory is articulated by contemporary writing and artworks that emerge from experiences of migration, exile, diaspora, and cultural hybridity. These productions express a creative resistance connected to narration and participation, while proposing alternative ways of opening the archive from the perspective of the voices and visions that are completely absent or pushed to the margins. For example, the encounters with the histories and the bodies evoked by Derek Walcott, as well as the innovative and trans-local languages proposed by the contemporary visual artists and filmmakers considered in this article, question the limits of historiography, multiculturalism, and institutional practices of archiving through lost traces and inappropriate objects.
University of Amsterdam
Sudeep Dasgupta is Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam. His publications focus on the aesthetics and politics of displacement in visual culture, from the disciplinary perspectives of aesthetics, postcolonial and globalization studies, political philosophy, and feminist and queer theory. Book publications include the co-edited volume (with Mireille Rosello) What’s Queer about Europe? (New York, Fordham University Press, 2014), and Constellations of the Transnational: Modernity, Culture, Critique (New York and Amsterdam, Rodopi, 2007). He is organizer of the 2017 ACGS conference “Postcolonial Mediations: Globalization and Displacement”.
Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash (2015), I argue, produces a sensorial registration of the presence of scattered subalterns. More importantly, an ‘aesthetics of indirection’ (con)figures the disturbing island-space between Italy and North Africa, where the intermittent appearance of subaltern subjects disturbs normative understandings of place and produces counter-intuitive understandings of relationality. The filmic construction of ‘intermittent adjacencies’ between subaltern presences and narrative protagonists produces figurations of disturbing relationalities between privilege and destitution, pleasure and pain, life and death. The logic of intermittent adjacencies left conspicuously un-integrated by the plot provide a sensorial and political provocation for thinking through the geopolitics of globalization in the context of the displacement of people.
University of Iowa
Anu Thapa is a doctoral candidate at the University of Iowa’s Cinematic Arts Department. Her areas of interests are the intersections of digital technology and national cinema, postcolonial theory, transnationalism, and South Asian cinema.
The figure of the subaltern, construed primarily in terms of class difference, went missing from Indian cinema screens following the emergence of the Non- Resident Indian (NRI) protagonist in the 1990s. In the neoliberal phase post- 2000, the subaltern has resurfaced in Indian cinema narratives, positioned to be delivered by the technological know-how and entrepreneurial spirit of the foreign-returned Indian man. This paper analyzes the reemergence of this disenfranchised ‘other’ through a close reading of three mainstream Hindi films — Swades: We, the People (Ashutosh Gowariker, 2004), Delhi 6 (Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, 2009) and Gori Tere Pyaar Mein (Punit Malhotra, 2013). All three films place a premium on the entrepreneurial spirit embodied by the cosmopolitan protagonist, which is facilitated by the urban educated heroine. The subaltern is transformed into the collective of ‘the people’ and subsequently denied enterprise. Within the context of cinematic representations of the subaltern since India’s independence, this portrayal of the subaltern as objects of deliverance is emblematic of Indian cinema’s neoliberal phase. Engaging with recent scholarships on Hindi cinema’s global ambitions, this paper briefly delves into the implications of the subaltern’s return to the notion of the ‘popular’ in Indian popular cinema.
Università degli Studi Roma Tre
Renato Loriga graduated from Roma Tre’s DAMS in 2015, with a dissertation on New Philippine Cinema, major ‘Postcolonial theories and practices of cinema’. Since 2013 he has written for the website of the film magazine ‘Sentieri Selvaggi’. In 2016 he published the book Autohystoria. Visioni postcoloniali del nuovo cinema filippino (Aracne). He currently works as a researcher at MiBACT (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism), and for the production/distribution company Zomia.
University of Padova
Farah Polato is Lecturer at the University of Padova, where she teaches Filmology. Since 2013 she has been taking part in the Postcolonialitalia project, a platform for research on postcolonial studies in Italy, that brings together scholars in the humanities and the social sciences. She is also member of the editorial board of the related journal From the European South. Her recent work on these topics includes ‘Il cinema, il postcoloniale e il nuovo millennio nel panorama italiano’ (Aut Aut, 2014) and ‘Rachid, Theo, Dagmawi e gli altri. Voci e forme di un nuovo cinema’, in L. De Franceschi (ed.), L’Africa in Italia. Per una controstoria postcoloniale del cinema italiano (2013).
In recent years, several audiovisual works made in Italy by (partly or wholly) people hailing from the former Italian colonies of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia have contributed to a challenge to the notions of displacement, deterritorialization and belonging in contemporary Italian society. They trouble the spaces of contact between people, of experiences and memories, therefore highlighting ‘the historical continuum and cultural genealogy’ (Lombardi-Diop and Romeo, 2012) between the colonial past and the present. By examining displacement and deterritorialization as possible expressions of belonging, rather than polarized fields in relation to it, this essay explores several examples where characters and filmic narrations assume the presence in the ‘here’, and the possibility to convert the ‘here’ into ‘home’, by modifying relations with people and places.
Università degli Studi di Bari ‘Aldo Moro’
Angela Bianca Saponari works as a researcher at the University of Bari, where she teaches on cinema studies and the cultural industries. Her research has primarily focused on the relationship between cinema and the other arts, and specifically, her interests include intertextuality, adaptation and the transformations of film culture. More broadly she studies the media industries, Italian film history, audiovisual archives and paratextuality. She has published many essays in journals and edited volumes, and is the author of Il cinema di Leonardo Sciascia. Luci e immagini di una vita (2010) and Il desiderio del cinema. Ferdinando Maria Poggioli (2017).
This essay contributes to the analysis of a phenomenon that became diffused between the 1990s and the 2000s: the mind-game film. It focuses on the destabilization of the classic story in the light of new digital technologies, providing original strategies of production and new possibilities of fruition. There are several studies of the different typologies of mind-game films, of the nature of narrative developments introduced by various directors, and of the technical aspects relating to the psychological dynamics in the image-narratorspectator relationship. However, there are fewer studies of the modernist roots of this phenomenon. Elsaesser locates the mind-game film within the same category of European subjective cinema during the 1960s. In other words, it constitutes a meta-cinematographic phenomenon, whose origins lie in the European vanguard modalities of experimentation. Following Elsaesser’s theories, I suggest that it is possible to study the parallelisms and elements of disruption between that subjective cinema and these new forms of experimentation, which appear to conciliate commercial needs and authorial perspectives. In particular, I seek to reveal the traces of this relationship in the cinema of Elio Petri, using Lev Manovich’s category of the ‘narrative database’.
University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Link Campus University di Roma
Valentina Re è professore associato presso la Link Campus University di Roma, ha conseguito nel 2005 il Dottorato in Studi cinematografici all’Università di Bologna e dal 2009 al 2014 è stata ricercatrice presso l’Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia. Si occupa principalmente di metodologie di analisi del film e dell’audiovisivo, dei rapporti tra teorie del cinema, teorie dei media, teoria letteraria ed estetica, dei rapporti tra cinema e altri media, con particolare riferimento ai processi di convergenza, alle forme di circolazione dell’audiovisivo in epoca digitale, alle nuove pratiche di consumo mediale. Tra le sue pubblicazioni i volumi Ai margini del film. Incipit e titoli di testa (Udine 2006), Visioni di altre visioni. Intertestualità e cinema (con G. Guagnelini, Bologna 2007), Cominciare dalla fine. Studi su Genette e il cinema (Milano-Udine, 2012).
University of Southampton, UK
Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione IULM Milano
King’s College London
Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milano)
Ruggero Eugeni è professore ordinario di Semiotica dei media presso l’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milano). Dirige presso la stessa Università il Master in Media relation e comunicazione di impresa. Il suo approccio ai media è attento sia agli aspetti esperienziali, corporei e affettivi dell’esperienza mediale, sia ai suoi radicamenti culturali e semiotici. Lavora sotto questo aspetto a un dialogo tra semiotica e neuroscienze cognitive dei media audiovisivi. I suoi libri più recenti sono La condizione postmediale (2015), Neurofilmology. Audiovisual Studies and the Challenge of Neurosciences, special Issue di Cinema & Cie (curato con Adriano d’Aloia, 2015) e Teorie del cinema. Il dibattito contemporaneo (curato con Adriano d’Aloia, 2017).
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Università degli Studi di Pisa
Università degli Studi di Bologna
Università degli Studi di Udine