Luísa Afonso Soares
Centre for Comparative Studies, School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon
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The postmigrant condition in Thomas Arslan’s Berlin Trilogy
Dedalus 25 (2021), pp. 299-312. Download PDF
In recent years, the concept of “postmigration” has emerged to describe and to make sense of new ways of living the migratory processes and the consequences of those processes on the second and third generation of migrants. The notion of postmigrant seeks to develop a new perspective on transformations caused by migration, going beyond confining and essentializing concepts. This perspective also seeks to overcome the binary distinction and the “demarcation-line” between the migrant and non-migrant, going beyond the widespread use of the migratory as a demarcation line.
The concepts of postmigrant or postmigrant condition are, in my view, a very productive framework for reading Thomas Arslan’s Berlin Trilogy, providing new perspectives on migration and its social and cultural consequences, and thereby new perspectives on culture and society at large. This set of films also called “Migrant Trilogy” (1996-2001) blurs the boundaries constructed by the so-called “Gastarbeiter-Kino” of the Seventies and Eighties, moving beyond essentializing categorisations of nationality or ethnicity, and thus transforming national stories into transnational and transcultural narratives.Drawing on recent theoretical approaches to post-migration, my paper will focus on the narrative and visual strategies of Thomas Arslan’s cinema to represent aesthetically the experience of living the transcultural post-migrant condition.
Keywords: German cinema; boundaries; postmigration; transculturality; transnational narratives