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British South Asian Cinema and Identity I ‘Nostalgia in the Post-National: Contemporary British Cinema and the South-Asian Diaspora’

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journal contribution
posted on 28.06.2010, 15:30 by E. Anna Claydon
Over the next two issues, I shall set out my theories regarding identification in a series of successful British South-Asian hybrid films from East is East to Bride and Prejudice. The first article centres upon the concept of nostalgia as it is represented in three films which epitomise the way in which contemporary, and hybrid, British cinema has tackled issues of diasporic identities, in these cases, that of the South-Asian diaspora. The second, article, then, will bring some of these issues up to date by discussing the tensions between the aspirations towards American success and specifically Indian familial identities and how these are problematised throughout Gurinder Chandha’s British South-Asian films. In collecting these two articles together, as twin sequels to my work on Bhaji on the Beach in Picturing South Asian Culture in English (Open House Press, 2003), I want to establish a discourse upon British South-Asian films and filmmakers which recognises the subtleties of representing issues which are for many difficult to articulate and to broach. I also seek to illustrate how the hybridity of contemporary British cinema is not simply a matter of cross-cultural representation or fulfilling the ‘ethnic minority’ criteria by which the Arts Council seem to solely define ‘diversity’ in recent times but that it is, like all art, the complex combination of the small details which belong to many homes and which adapt to create another. That, in a sense, contemporary British cinema is inherently driven by diasporic and intertextual sensibilities which persistently allude to something lost, ‘homelike’, in the past. [Taken from article Introduction]



South Asian Cultural Studies, 2008, 2 (1), pp. 26-38

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South Asian Cultural Studies


Edge Hill



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This is the author’s final draft of the paper published as South Asian Cultural Studies, 2008, 2 (1), pp. 26-38. The final published version is available at http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/sacs/Vol2Issue1.htm.



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