The Representation of Migrants in Contemporary Spanish Cinema

  • Clara Guillén Marín

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This study will focus on the analysis of eight films representing migrants in Spain. The films are documentaries and fiction films made by Spanish and non-Spanish filmmakers from 1999 till 2010.The main focus of this analysis is to explore the ways in which migrant and non-migrant filmmakers reframe the urban and rural space to create opportunities for a free, although contested, exchange between marginal voices and mainstream Spanish society. I will analyse to what extent the films challenge forms of exclusion, exploring how they represent ethnicity in a space that includes some and excludes others. It is my main aim to describe how and to what extent the films open the space for political argumentation. My main theoretical framework will derive from the work of French philosopher Jacques Rancière to demonstrate to what extent the films create scenes of dissensus. I will also draw upon Hamid Naficy’s characterisation of ‘accented cinema’, as well as upon theorists like Doreen Massey, Michel de Certeau and Henri Lefebvre, since their arguments will help the analysis of how the films represent space, time, power and movement. Apart from this, I will make use of Laura Marks’s theories on intercultural cinema made by the diasporic filmmaker and its capacity to create new kinds of sense knowledges through haptic perception. Other political theories from Giorgio Agamben, Fredric Jameson and Thomas Elsaesser, among others, will contribute to exploring how migrant characters are portrayed and to what extent this representation contributes to the creation of scenes of dissensus.
Date of Award20 May 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorDavid Clarke (Supervisor)


  • Migration
  • Cinema
  • Dissensus

Cite this