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The Non-Places of Migrant Cinema in Europe

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Abstract:

This article focuses on the representation of ‘non-places’ in European migrant cinema. Postcolonial subjects, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are often depicted in non-places such as city outskirts, hotels, detention centres, on the open sea or in airports. Through the analysis of Pawel Pawlikowski's Last Resort (UK, 2000), Stephen Frears's Dirty Pretty Things (UK, 2002), and Mohsen Melliti's Io, l'altro (I, the Other, Italy, 2007), migrants are seen in non-locations, characterised by their disposable bodies and are portrayed against a background of hostile media representations. The article argues that non-places allude to the visual and ideological instability of the notion of Europe, and also to the creation of an alternative space, a possible Third Space, a location of transformation and belonging to an alternative organic society, where new notions of hospitality and tolerance are conveyed.

Keywords: Europe; Marc Augé; Mohsen Melliti; Pawel Pawlikowski; Sandra Ponzanesi; Stephen Frears; cinema; hospitality; migration; non-places; postcolonialism; refugee

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09528822.2012.734565

Publication date: 2012-11-01

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