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Transnational Experiences of Cinema-Going: Interviewing Latin American Women in Barcelona and Milan

Dr Dalila Missero

Transnational Experiences of Cinema-Going: Interviewing Latin American Women in Barcelona and Milan

Event details


In this lecture I will discuss some theoretical and methodological challenges in the study of
cinema and migration. The topic will be framed in the context of my on-going project that
investigates the gendered aspects of migration through the lens of cinema-going, as well as the
habits of film and television consumption. The research is based on a group of in-depth
interviews to Latin-American women based in Milan and Barcelona, and involves an inter-
generational group of participants from different countries and with diverse backgrounds.

The talk will split in two main parts. In the first I will make some considerations about my
experience of conducting qualitative audience research during the COVD-19 pandemic.
Between April and December 2020, I’ve made 35 remote in-depth interviews, while my field-
work in Milan and Barcelona has been cancelled. The impossibility to establish in-person
relationships and being on site has significantly challenged my methodology as well as the
angle of my analysis, encouraging a more intimate and analytical approach. Specifically, the
interviews have revealed that the meanings assigned to cinema-going change with the
relationships and experiences of time and space brought on by migration in women’s lives. As
such, following Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson’s notion of border-crossing as “knowledge
production” (2013), I am testing the potential of the memories of leisure and cinema-going for
the everyday negotiation of borders and distance.

Drawing from the notions of ‘cultural’ and ‘critical proximity’ (La Pastina and Straubhaar,
2005; Georgiou, 2012), which refer to transnational systems of distribution and media
consumption, in the second part of the lecture I will discuss some parts of the interviews in
which the affective and material characters of cinema-going complicate the meanings of
presence and absence in transnational lives

Dalila Missero is a Research Fellow at the School of Arts, at Oxford Brookes University, where she is working on a project on Latin-American women’s media memories. She has received her PhD in Visual, Performing and Media Arts at the University of Bologna and has published essays on gender, sexuality and cinema in the Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies, Feminist Media Histories, About Gender, and The Italianist. In parallel with her new project, she is also completing her first monograph “Italian Women and Cinema: The Making of a Feminist Film Culture” for Edinburgh University Press (2022).