Hybridised Identities and Elite Positioning: The Negotiation of Identities in Five Catalano-Pakistani Films

  • Amber Elizabeth Veldt Erasmus Mundus Masters Crossways in Cultural Narratives


Since the early 2000s, Barcelona has welcomed a number of Pakistani immigrants, estimated at around 70,000 by 2011. Separated from Catalan society by characteristics such as religious, social and linguistic identity, Pakistani immigrants negotiate their identities between their own cultures and a single host culture. Furthermore, they must navigate the diverse meanings of “Catalan” and “Spanish” in order to formulate their identities and create a space within society. Using Leela Gandhi’s concept of a hybrid identity and Stuart Hall’s concept of “positions of enunciation,” this dissertation analyses the negotiation of identities that takes place in five films released between 2010-2012: Escolta la nostra veu; Guide for Pakistanis in Spain; Mil·lenium: El Pakistan: Tradició i modernitat; Massala basar; and El Pakistan a l’“ànima”. In analyzing these films, this dissertation explores the ways in which producers and participants in the respective films describe the Pakistani diaspora to viewers, positioning themselves in the “centre” or the “periphery.” These elites and Catalan editors make distinctions between elite Pakistanis and the non-dominant majority of Pakistanis, demonstrating the Orientalist expectations they hold. Ultimately, these films manage to authentically depict a small portion of the Pakistani diaspora (the minority elite), but fail to represent the diaspora as a whole due to their presentation of the non-dominant majority as voiceless.