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Lieux et non-lieux: subverting spaces of recognition and belonging in Looking for Alibrandi

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This article addresses Kate Woods' film Looking for Alibrandi (2000), its concern with the interdependence of space and subjectivity and its role in presenting alternative discourses of the Australian nation. Drawing on the spatial theorization of French anthropologist Marc Aug, I contend that the film offers new models of identity through the protagonist's subversion of the categorization of public and private spaces. I argue that Josie Alibrandi is portrayed in the film as an agent of change, and her acts of improvisation result both in an active manipulation of cultural constructions grounded in these spaces, and in her claim to a multiplicity of identities.

Keywords: Italian-Australians; Kate Woods; Looking for Alibrandi; Marc Aug; cultural displacement; nationalism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/sac.2.1.21_1

Affiliations: Universit di Cagliari, Italy and King's College London.

Publication date: September 15, 2008

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  • Launched in 2007, the journal engages in critical discussion of cinema from the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific region. Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific regions are home to many indigenous nations and immigrant cultures from all around the world. Studies in Australasian Cinema will maintain an emphasis on this diversity with a special interest in postcolonial politics and contexts. 
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