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Connecting Shores: Libya's Colonial Ghost and Europe's Migrant Crisis in Colonial and Postcolonial Cinematic Representations

Ponzanesi, Sandra

This paper points out the relationship between the colonial past—defined from a psychoanalytic, theoretical perspective in terms of a ghost—and Europe’s present migrant crisis through the analysis of recent European documentary films that challenge stereotypical representations of Lampedusa and its refugees. This analysis shows how the past returns to write the present, starting from present-day hegemonic powers, by highlighting the importance of different shores such as those of Libya and Lampedusa through different times, regimes and cinematic memory. Hence, the contemporary European crisis has to be reinterpreted through a new gaze capable of combining past questions about the dominion of Italy in Libya (and in the countries of the Horn of Africa) and new socio-economic conditions and cosmopolitan visions.

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