• Placemaking and alterity in Italian Neorealist and New Migrant cinema: borgatari and extracomunitari vis-à-vis the reterritorialisation of borderland

    Marianna Charitonidou (see profile)
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    The paper examines the cinematic representations of working women and migrants in Italian Neorealist cinema reveal filmmakers’ perception of a newly conceptualized Italy. Its starting point is the hypothesis that the roles of borgatari and women functioned as devices of reconceptualization of Italy’s identity, providing a fertile terrain for reflecting upon the intersections between migration studies, urban studies and gender studies. At the core of the paper is the intention to shed light on the importance of representations of women and migrants in Italian Neorealist and New Migrant cinema. A core concern for the paper is how Italian Neorealist and New Migrant cinema with addressed migrants’ placemaking mechanisms through the reinvention of the subjectivities of the extracomunitari, which, in contrast with the term ‘immigrants’ and ‘foreign workers’, have a negative connotation. Jeffrey Hou, in Transcultural cities: border-crossing and placemaking, has used the concept of ‘transcultural placemaking’ to “address the dynamic processes of cultural changes [and the] […] cross-cultural interactions in the context of migration and diversity” (Hou 2013, 7). The concept of ‘placemaking’ addresses “not only the intercultural exchanges but also the cultural transformations that takes place in urban places and through urban placemaking” (Hou 2013, 7). As Aine O’Healy has remarked, in Migrant anxieties: Italian cinema in a transnational frame, the concept of placemaking is useful for interpreting the “‘crossings’ [that] mediate the unfolding drama and dilemmas of transcultural cohabitation for local audiences” (O’Healy 2019, 7). This explains why the concept of ‘placemaking’ is useful for analysing the role of alterity in New Migrant films.
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    12 months ago


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