Migrant and diasporic cinema in contemporary Europe

Project: Research

Project Details


The AHRC Research Network ‘Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe’ consisted of eight researchers and one media practitioner who – in consultation with filmmakers, producers, distributors, policy makers and festival organisers – explored the evolution of migrant and diasporic cinemas in contemporary Europe over the thirty years. The Network has been concerned with how films made by migrant and diasporic filmmakers as well as productions which represent migratory or diasporic experiences have shaped and modified our understanding of European identity/ies, previously constructed and narrated within distinct national cinemas. The Network worked on the premise that multicultural and multiethnic presences and themes in contemporary European cinemas should not be studied in terms of their national specificity, because such critical paradigms do not adequately address the shift from the national to the transnational which has occurred since the early to mid-1980s.
This shift has been fuelled by the long legacy of colonialism, the ongoing process of European integration, the geopolitical changes after the collapse of communism and the continuing influx of migrants to what is still perceived as the politically and economically stable heartland of Europe. Migrant and diasporic cinema in Europe, therefore, potentially refers to a multitude of social and ethnic groups, movements and histories, cultural heritages and practices.
The Network endeavoured to establish a theoretical framework by analysing the new concept of ‘migrant and diasporic cinema’ in relation to the socio-political implications of existing terminology (including in languages other than English). Our attempt to locate migrant and diasporic cinema in relation to discourses of postcolonialism, globalisation, etc. as well as to current debates in film studies enabled us to identify the specificities of this ‘cinema of dual occupancy’, which make it distinct from other types of transnational cinema such as ‘global Hollywood’ or ‘Europuddings’. We argue that the emergence of migrant and diasporic cinema has played a crucial role in the ‘World Cinema turn’ that has taken place in European cinema, both in academia and in the industry.
Effective start/end date1/10/0631/01/08


  • Arts & Humanities Res Coun AHRC: £20,368.00


  • Transnatinal cinema, migration and diaspora, World Cinema, contemporary European cinema, ethnic minorities in cinema