The Migrant’s Body: Publicity and the Abject in Contemporary Documentaries: Fabrizio Gatti, Ursula Biemann and Michael Glawogger

By Helga Druxes.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper looks at the depiction of labor migration in the work of several European journalists and documentary filmmakers: Italian journalist Fabrizio Gatti, Swiss filmmaker Ursula Biemann and Austrian Michael Glawogger. A common strategy is to go undercover and masquerade as a labor migrant in order to expose the abuses of global labor trafficking. How do the narrators justify their own position, to what extent do they dramatize it, what moral dilemmas do they expose?
Inside Fortress Europe, the African or eastern European worker’s body is often othered as abject, as an irritant that needs containment or expulsion. The role of the internet as a tool for self- marketing and critical commentary on labor migration will be explored.

Keywords: Labor Migration, Africa, Gender

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 7, pp.211-222. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 774.327KB).

Prof. Helga Druxes

Professor of German and Comparative Literature, Department of German-Russian, Program in Comparative Literature, Williams College, Williamstown, MA, USA

I have published an article on globalization and sex work in documentary films by Ursula Biemann and Ulrich Seidl in Seminar (special issue: “Globalization, Literature, Film and the New Economy,” Seminar 47: 4, 2011.), written a book about twentieth-century women writers and urban fiction, written a book on female identity quests in the nineteenth-century novel, and presented conference papers on Turkish-German integration in film, German attitudes towards race and immigration, and urban youth violence in German fiction and film. I teach comparative literature courses on the everyday, and on women writers and the city as well as German language and post-1945 literature and film.

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