Uses of the Past in Refugee Documentaries in Sweden and Germany

Uses of the Past in Refugee Documentaries in Sweden and Germany

The article by Dr. Hans-Urlich Wagner and guest researcher Philipp Seuferling in the journal Media History focuses on the memory culture of migration in the media on a theoretical and empirical level.

Migration not only entangles people, cultures and societies but also histories and memories of diverse groups across national and cultural boundaries. The article focuses on mediated memory cultures of migration both theoretically and empirically. The first part discusses how cultural memories of migration in cross-medial flows of remediation can entangle ‘mnemonic imaginations’ of diverse groups within societies across time, cultures and media. In response to the conceptual framework of ‘entangled media histories’ this theoretical part explores entangled media histories of migration from the angle of memory studies. The second part of the article gives selected case studies. They reveal how media have historically mediated migratory memories and how they make use of this media history in contemporary productions. The examples are two Swedish documentary films of 2011 and 2015 and two German television documentaries of 2015 and 2016. With this theoretical and empirical approach, the article shows how media actively contribute to debates about contemporary migration movements by the help of time-travelling migratory memory and media history.

Wagner, H.-U.; Seuferling, P. (2019): Uses of the Past in Refugee Documentaries in Sweden and Germany. In: Media History. Online first.

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