European Screens MeCETES Conference in York
The EU-funded MeCETES project is going to host its final conference in York from 5-7 September 2016. The programme of European Screens looks fantastic with speakers from all over Europe. Identity politics in European cinema and television are a prominent concern of many papers.
Together with Laura Rascaroli (University College Cork) and Tiim Bergfelder (Southampton), I have been invited to contribute to a Plenary Panel, Transnational Adventures: European Screens, European Identities. We will be exploring a diverse range of topics, ranging from supranational identities over the representation of place to interethic romance in European cinema.
My paper will focus on films set amongst Europe’s rapidly growing migrant and diasporic communities. Interethnic romance often functions as a litmus test about attitudes towards immigrants and ethnic minorities.
The Turkish German romantic comedy Evet, I Do! (Sinan Akkus, 2008), modelled on the paradigmatic ethnic romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Joel Zwick, 2002), culminates in the spectacle of a diasporic wedding that marks the inclusion of the Other in the circle of the family and, by implication, the nation. Reflecting the ever-increasing cultural diversity of European societies, many recent films feature love stories between different ethnic minorities, in which the romantic couple has to overcome familial prejudice and racial and religious divides. Ae Fond Kiss…. (Ken Loach, 2004), Café au lait (Mathieu Kassovitz, 1993) and Bad Faith (Roschdy Zem, 2006) make a powerful plea for what Paul Gilroy (2004) has theorized as ‘postcolonial urban conviviality’. As the antipode to race thinking with its insistence on racial purity, postcolonial urban conviviality finds its expression in the spontaneous cohabitation and interaction of different races and ethnicities that have made ‘multiculture an ordinary feature of social life’ in urban centres and postcolonial cities in Europe and elsewhere. However, rarely do these romances between Muslims, Catholics, Jews, blacks and beurs end in blissful matrimony; instead any promise of commitment and the prospect of a happy future together remains tenuous.
Edited on 01 Sep 2016 around 12pm