Articles with tag: distribution of the sensible

Transtopian Moves

The Rhizome in Jonas Carpignano’s Feature Films Mediterranea (2015) and A Ciambra (2017)

1_ Introduction With the shift in meaning of race (for example, in slogans like “Black is beautiful”), Stuart Hall explains how trans-coding makes it possible to recast dominant meanings and thus contribute to reinterpretations. The space in which this happens is a transtopian space, which can potentially be created by the encounter of different individuals. [1] In the feature films of director Jonas Carpignano, such encounters (by strangers) with both marginalized space and marginalized people are at the center. The theme of the films is quite close to the director’s biography: Carpignano’s mother is from the Caribbean island of Barbados, and his father is from Rome; Carpignano himself was born in New York, and spent a great deal of time with his father’s side of the family in Italy. He represents diverse cultural and national identities, and at the same time addresses these in his films. Carpignano seems fascinated with Calabria and the events that take place there: in this geographically and eonomically marginal region of Italy, one can locate even more marginal experiences. In Mediterranea (2015), the refugees from Burkina Faso have nothing to do with Italy, while in A Ciambra (2017) [2], the teenager is Italian, but at the same time belongs to a group of Roma. In Carpignano’s films, the protagonists Ayiva, a refugee from Burkina Faso, and Pio, a Roma, serve as examples of the “liquid modernity” that Zygmunt Bauman describes in his book Liquid Modernity (2000). Bauman emphasizes the adjective “liquid” in his effort to show how stable identities have never been so stable as they appear in postmodern times. [3] While Pio is Italian, he is still marginalized in Italian society; Ayiva is also marginalized, but in a different way. What the characters have in common is that it is difficult for them to participate in public life. This is one reason why they find each other, befriend each other, and ultimately cheat each other. Their different processes of adaptation and constant changing of identity demonstrate their attempts to create transtopian spaces in which each is not and need not act as a marginalized person, but as someone else. It is this appearance in popular culture of marginalized individuals, especially “by the voicing of the margins,” [4] that has transformed cultural life as we know it. Following the reflections of Mikhail M. Bakhtin and Valentin N. Volosinov, Stuart Hall emphasizes the possibility of appropriating…