Keynote address on ‘Colonial Ruins: The Mediterranean Crisis in Postcolonial Cinema’ with Sandra Ponzanesi ( 2-3 April, University of Tours)

Sandra Ponzanesi gave a keynote address on “Colonial Ruins: The Mediterranean Crisis in Postcolonial Cinema” at the conference “On the Ruins and Margins of European Identity in Cinema: European Identity in the Era of Mass Migration” (University of Tours).

This talk pointed out the relationship between the colonial past and Europe’s present migrant crisis, through the anaysis of recent European documentary films that challenge stereotypical representations of the European South and refugees. This analysis shows how the past returns to write the present, starting from present-day hegemonic powers, by highlighting the importance of different shores such as those of Libya and Lampedusa through different times, regimes and cinematic memory.

The conference

This conference was organized by Prof. Temenuga Trifonova for Le Studium, and tok place at the University of Tours. The purpose of this conference was to reflect on contemporary debates around the concepts of ‘Europe’ and ‘European identity’ through an examination of European films from 2000 to the present dealing with various aspects of globalization (the refugee crisis, labor migration, the resurgence of nationalism and ethnic violence, international tourism, neoliberalism, transnational commodification, post-colonialism, transnational capital etc.). These examinations enable reflections on the ambiguities and contradictory aspects of the figure of the migrant and the ways in which this figure challenges us to rethink core concepts such as European identity, European citizenship, justice, ethics, liberty, tolerance and hospitality in the post-national context of ephemerality, volatility, and contingency that finds people looking for firmer markers of identity.

For more information, see here.