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Migrant Women’s Documentary Filmmaking: Shifting Positionalities and Precarious Creativity Across Borders in the Experience of Five Latin American Directors

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Publication date24/12/2023
Host publicationRethinking Identities Across Boundaries: Genders/Genres/Genera
EditorsClaudia Capancioni, Mariaconcetta Costantini, Mara Mattoscio
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (electronic)9783031407956
ISBN (print)9783031407949
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This chapter investigates the materialities of transnational filmmaking and the shifting boundaries of gender, mobility, and subjectivity in migrant cinema.
By means of semi-structured interviewees, it analyses the work of five Latin American women directors (Josephine Landertinger Forero, Patricia Perez Fernandez, Andrea Said Camargo, Nora Salgado, and Mariana Viñoles), who have made documentaries on international migration in the past ten years.
Their films are examples of ‘cinema of Me’, in which the migrant filmmaker is ‘both the subject matter of the film and the subject making the film’ (Lebow, The Cinema of Me: The Self and Subjectivity in First Person Documentary.
London and New York: Wallflower Press, 2012). This intimate and affective way of representing transnational mobility translates in an ‘epistemology of the border’ (Mignolo, Geopolitics of sensing and knowing: On (de)coloniality, border thinking and epistemic disobedience. Postcolonial Studies 14 (3): 273–283, 2011) in which multiple levels of subjectivity and (self)representation overlap. The professional trajectory of these filmmakers is also marked by the
form ‘precarious creativity’ (Curtin and Sanson, Precarious Creativity: Global Media, Local Labor. Oakland: University of California Press, 2016), defined by low budgets, mobility, and flexibility. The interviews therefore focus on their documentaries as well as their cross-border experiences as migrant practitioners, revealing the precarity of these experiences and laying the stress
on the porousness of boundaries between creativity, professionalism, and subjectivity.