The mediation of subtitling in the narrative construction of migrant and/or marginalizedstories

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Media products, cultures and the arts have recently been transformed by migration, and these cultural and aesthetic transformations have contributed to re-shaping identities, ethnicities, distant societies, and minority groups. The growing interest in migratory aesthetics has brought into representation marginalized subjectivities in ways that depart from migrant depictions in the conventional media (e.g., the news bulletins) and the oversimplified and manipulated stories of marginalization in networked mainstream platforms. Against the backdrop of narrative theory and accessibility as a new terrain of human rights practice, this study examines the subtitling activity of what I identify as “emergency cinema”, according to the perspective of the Abounaddara collective spread across the web. As audiovisual products are easily uploaded, posted, and screened on the Internet, subtitles have acquired the role of activist spaces, frames of re-narration, and self-translation, where marginalized stories are mediated and hegemonic practices contested. By focusing this scrutiny on the sphere of the aesthetics of migration for the purpose of dissemination of marginalized identities, namely, within a selected corpus of subtitles produced for the Abounaddara short films and The Mirror Project video interviews, subtitling is viewed as an instrument that stimulates the mediation of narratives of resistance and conflict recounted against the normative background of subtitles in English Lingua Franca (ELF).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-93
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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