Sandra Ponzanesi gave a keynote on ‘Strangers in Paradise. Migrant Figurations in Media Culture’ for the NIAS/OSL International Conference ‘Stranger Things: Rethinking Defamiliarization in Literature and Visual Culture’. The conference was organized by Nilgun Bayraktar and Alberto Gladiolo, and took place in Amsterdam.
Defamiliarizing practices today play a key role in contemporary artworks engaging with highly topical issues, such as migration, climate change or the rise of right-wing populist discourses. Whether we are dealing with retro-futuristic dystopias, films breaking the fourth wall, or darkly humorous cartoons, defamiliarization can be an effective tool for political activation – one based on formal innovation, rather than on content or on superficial emotional engagement.
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