“Technology and Embodiments in Mati Diop’s Atlantics” by Nildeep Paul

Journal Title: Wide Screen
Vol. 9, No.1, July 2022
ISSN: 1757-3920
URL: http://widescreenjournal.org

Abstract: Increased securitization of borders and surveillance of bodies has led to an unprecedented precarity in the lives of refugees. With that, an ethical crisis has developed in film practice over the question of representation of these bodies and differentiating them from the crisis and racial images on circulation in mainstream media. In this paper I examine the Senegalese-French filmmaker Mati Diop’s cinema, with a specific focus on her 2019 debut feature Atlantics, to analyze her interactions with the complex political economy of migration in Senegal. Approaching the films from the standpoint of two questions – of technology and of embodiment, this paper argues that interactions with technological objects in her cinema form crucial transmission points. These interactions play a key role in developing a cinematic language resistant to appropriation by mainstream discourses on refugee bodies and migration.

Keywords: mobility, refugee studies, migration and cinema, technology studies, representation