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The issue of ethnicity in France, and how ethnicities are represented there visually, remains one of the most important and polemical aspects of French post-colonial politics and society. This is the first book to analyse how a range of different ethnicities have been represented across contemporary French visual culture. Via a wide series of case studies – from the worldwide hit film Amélie to France’s popular TV series Plus belle la vie – it probes how ethnicities have been represented across different media, including film, photography, television and the visual arts. Four chapters examine distinct areas of particular importance: national identity, people of Algerian heritage, Jewishness and France’s second city Marseille.

Representations of Marseille
Joseph McGonagle

4 A multi-ethnic metropolis: representations of Marseille If proof were needed of Marseille’s historical significance and importance within France, one need only recall the French national anthem. It was the presence of so many Revolutionaries from the southern city among those marching from the Rhine to Paris in 1792 that led to their ‘Chant de guerre de l‘armée du Rhin’ being renamed ‘La Marseillaise’, immortalised in Jean Renoir’s 1938 film of the same name. The oldest city in France – in 1999 it celebrated its 2600th year of existence – Marseille is also

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
John Mundy and Glyn White

in’ (2007: 20). This notion that comedy can be a Janus-like process, a barrier as well as an entrance, both a ‘sword and a shield’, is important when we attempt to understand the relationship between comedy, race and ethnicity. Comic material in broadcasting and film can, as we have seen, have different meanings for different audiences at different times, but it invariably relies a great deal on

in Laughing matters
Margaret C. Flinn

This article traces what Élie Faure believed to be the racial, ethnic and geographic origins of art. Influenced by the writings of Gobineau and Taine, he asserts that the taxonomisation of species provides a model for the taxonomisation of artistic productions. The mixing of various races is evidenced in their artistic production, with the relative presence or absence of the rhythmic serving as an index for the presence or absence of certain types of blood, or racial/ethnic origins. Similarly, the qualities of the land where art is produced results in visible effects upon the (artistic) forms created by the people living in that geographic area. Métissage is considered a positive characteristic, and cinema the apogee of modern artistic production because of its integration of machine rhythms into the rhythms of human gesture.

Film Studies
Carrie Tarr

depart from the heritage blockbuster or the intimiste auteur film. La Haine takes as its topic the cycle of hatred and violence which tends to characterise relationships between young people and the police in the working-class suburbs of France. Given that the banlieue is also the principal location of France’s marginalised ethnic minorities, cinematic representations of the banlieue cannot easily ignore the representation of ethnic differences, and in

in Reframing difference
Nigel Mather

its humour? 1 This chapter will examine a particular group of British films produced during the 1990s which sought to explore issues of national, cultural and ethnic identity in the form of narratives combining comic and dramatic plot developments, incidents and perspectives. Such films as Leon the Pig Farmer (Vadim Jean, Gary Sinyor, 1992), Wild West (David Attwood, 1992

in Tears of laughter
British television and constructs of race

Adjusting the contrast National and cultural identity, ethnicity and difference have always been major themes within the national psyche. People are witnessing the rise and visibility of far-right politics and counter-movements in the UK and USA. Simultaneously, there is an urgent need to defend the role of public service media. This book emerges at a time when these shifts and conjunctures that impact on and shape how 'race' and racial difference are perceived. They are coinciding with rapidly changing media contexts and environments and the kinds of racial representations that are constructed within public service broadcasting (PSB), specifically the BBC and Channel 4. The book explores a range of texts and practices that address the ongoing phenomenon of race and its relationship to television. Policies and the management of race; transnationalism and racial diversity; historical questions of representation; the myth of a multicultural England are also explored. It interrogates three television primarily created by women, written by women, feature women in most of the lead roles, and forcefully reassert the place of women in British history. The book contributes to the range of debates around television drama and black representation, examining BBC's Shoot the Messenger and Top Boy. Finally, it explores some of the history that led to the belated breakthrough of Black and Asian British comedy. The book also looks at the production of jokes about race and colour prior to the 1980s and 1990s, and questioning what these jokes tell us about British multiculturalism in this period.

Engaging with ethnicity
Joseph McGonagle

1 Changing notions of national identity: engaging with ethnicity As the Introduction made clear, since the early 1980s France has experienced an important period of significant political and social change. Many prevailing notions of national identity were redefined as the descendants of post-World War Two migrants to France (and especially those of Maghrebi heritage) came of age. Laws on nationality and citizenship were repeatedly revised, and controversy raged over measures that purportedly challenged the primacy of French republican universalism as well as

in Representing ethnicity in contemporary French visual culture
Marie-Line and Chaos
Carrie Tarr

(including Catherine Corsini, Claire Devers, Philippe Faucon, Serge Le Péron, Claire Simon and Marie Vermillard, all of whom have made films addressing questions of ethnicity and difference). Nous sans-papiers de France was signed by 175 filmmaking professionals and shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997. It consists of a three-minute close-up of Madjiguène Cissé, the articulate, intelligent spokeswoman for the sans-papiers of St-Bernard, herself of Senegalese

in Reframing difference
Carrie Tarr

and resident in France, insiders also in the hybrid multi-ethnic youth culture of the banlieue (France’s grim outer city housing estates), French people of Maghrebi descent are also outsiders, not just because of institutionalised state racism and the racism of those who target ‘Arabs’ and Islam as the scapegoats for France’s socio-economic difficulties, but also because of the Republican definition of integration. As previously noted, Republican approaches

in Reframing difference