Female migration and multiculturalism in Extranjeras (Helena Taberna, 2003)

Clara Guillén Marín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Extranjeras–a 75-minute documentary made in 2002 by Spanish film director Helena Taberna–offers a collection of interviews in which foreign women living in Madrid talk to the camera about their experiences of immigration and adaptation to their new life in a new country. Taberna focuses on domesticity and cultural traditions but avoids other socio-political realities of female immigration in Spain, including prostitution and sexual exploitation. Instead, I argue, the film takes the viewer on a reassuring journey of multicultural discovery that seems at times more like a pleasurable tourist excursion than a documentary geared to presenting the difficulties and political issues that female migrants from non-Western European countries face in Spain. As Fredric Jameson indicates, we should try to understand the dominant cultural logic against which genuine difference can be assessed, and to project “some conception of a new systematic cultural norm and its reproduction in order to reflect more adequately on the most effective forms of any radical cultural politics today” (6). Taberna’s documentary, I suggest, represents a certain idea of multiculturalism that promotes a depoliticization of difference, thus diverting attention from forms of oppression suffered by migrants in Spain. I will explore to what extent Taberna reinforces the consensual view that places Western women in a superior position to non-Western women, considering herself responsible for their well-being and liberation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-56
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Spanish Cultural Studies
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017

Fingerprint

multicultural society
Spain
migration
immigration
migrant
prostitution
liberation
oppression
director
exploitation
tourist
well-being
politics
interview
Documentary
Multiculturalism
experience
Immigration
Migrants

Keywords

  • Dissensus
  • documentary
  • migration
  • multiculturalism
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

Cite this

Female migration and multiculturalism in Extranjeras (Helena Taberna, 2003). / Guillén Marín, Clara.

In: Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Vol. 18, No. 1, 02.01.2017, p. 37-56.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{fed3dff4887b47ffb4c80e0e23ac2071,
title = "Female migration and multiculturalism in Extranjeras (Helena Taberna, 2003)",
abstract = "Extranjeras–a 75-minute documentary made in 2002 by Spanish film director Helena Taberna–offers a collection of interviews in which foreign women living in Madrid talk to the camera about their experiences of immigration and adaptation to their new life in a new country. Taberna focuses on domesticity and cultural traditions but avoids other socio-political realities of female immigration in Spain, including prostitution and sexual exploitation. Instead, I argue, the film takes the viewer on a reassuring journey of multicultural discovery that seems at times more like a pleasurable tourist excursion than a documentary geared to presenting the difficulties and political issues that female migrants from non-Western European countries face in Spain. As Fredric Jameson indicates, we should try to understand the dominant cultural logic against which genuine difference can be assessed, and to project “some conception of a new systematic cultural norm and its reproduction in order to reflect more adequately on the most effective forms of any radical cultural politics today” (6). Taberna’s documentary, I suggest, represents a certain idea of multiculturalism that promotes a depoliticization of difference, thus diverting attention from forms of oppression suffered by migrants in Spain. I will explore to what extent Taberna reinforces the consensual view that places Western women in a superior position to non-Western women, considering herself responsible for their well-being and liberation.",
keywords = "Dissensus, documentary, migration, multiculturalism, women",
author = "{Guill{\'e}n Mar{\'i}n}, Clara",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "2",
doi = "10.1080/14636204.2016.1274493",
language = "English",
volume = "18",
pages = "37--56",
journal = "Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies",
issn = "1463-6204",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Female migration and multiculturalism in Extranjeras (Helena Taberna, 2003)

AU - Guillén Marín, Clara

PY - 2017/1/2

Y1 - 2017/1/2

N2 - Extranjeras–a 75-minute documentary made in 2002 by Spanish film director Helena Taberna–offers a collection of interviews in which foreign women living in Madrid talk to the camera about their experiences of immigration and adaptation to their new life in a new country. Taberna focuses on domesticity and cultural traditions but avoids other socio-political realities of female immigration in Spain, including prostitution and sexual exploitation. Instead, I argue, the film takes the viewer on a reassuring journey of multicultural discovery that seems at times more like a pleasurable tourist excursion than a documentary geared to presenting the difficulties and political issues that female migrants from non-Western European countries face in Spain. As Fredric Jameson indicates, we should try to understand the dominant cultural logic against which genuine difference can be assessed, and to project “some conception of a new systematic cultural norm and its reproduction in order to reflect more adequately on the most effective forms of any radical cultural politics today” (6). Taberna’s documentary, I suggest, represents a certain idea of multiculturalism that promotes a depoliticization of difference, thus diverting attention from forms of oppression suffered by migrants in Spain. I will explore to what extent Taberna reinforces the consensual view that places Western women in a superior position to non-Western women, considering herself responsible for their well-being and liberation.

AB - Extranjeras–a 75-minute documentary made in 2002 by Spanish film director Helena Taberna–offers a collection of interviews in which foreign women living in Madrid talk to the camera about their experiences of immigration and adaptation to their new life in a new country. Taberna focuses on domesticity and cultural traditions but avoids other socio-political realities of female immigration in Spain, including prostitution and sexual exploitation. Instead, I argue, the film takes the viewer on a reassuring journey of multicultural discovery that seems at times more like a pleasurable tourist excursion than a documentary geared to presenting the difficulties and political issues that female migrants from non-Western European countries face in Spain. As Fredric Jameson indicates, we should try to understand the dominant cultural logic against which genuine difference can be assessed, and to project “some conception of a new systematic cultural norm and its reproduction in order to reflect more adequately on the most effective forms of any radical cultural politics today” (6). Taberna’s documentary, I suggest, represents a certain idea of multiculturalism that promotes a depoliticization of difference, thus diverting attention from forms of oppression suffered by migrants in Spain. I will explore to what extent Taberna reinforces the consensual view that places Western women in a superior position to non-Western women, considering herself responsible for their well-being and liberation.

KW - Dissensus

KW - documentary

KW - migration

KW - multiculturalism

KW - women

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85009958860&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14636204.2016.1274493

U2 - 10.1080/14636204.2016.1274493

DO - 10.1080/14636204.2016.1274493

M3 - Article

VL - 18

SP - 37

EP - 56

JO - Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies

JF - Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies

SN - 1463-6204

IS - 1

ER -