Mediating migration in Ceuta, Melilla and Barcelona: border thinking and transnationalism from below in independent documentary Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2015

start page

  • 137

end page

  • 155


  • 2


  • 6

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2040-3526

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2040-3534


  • This article analyses Spanish-independent documentaries that deal with issues of immigration in Ceuta, Melilla and Barcelona from 2005 to 2012. Departing from Walter Mignolo's 'border thinking' and Hamid Naficy's systematizations of the 'interstitial mode of production' and 'the independent transnational film genre', we situate these audiovisual practices as political and cultural interventions from below in recent debates about borders and immigration cinema. We understand these projects as technological, social and political mediations between the experiences of migrants and spectators. Taking into account the diversity of these videos, we explore how they materialize the tensions and violence implicit in the spatial encounters between migrants, local citizens and the film-makers themselves. Thus, we claim that these works challenge extended assumptions about migratory victimization and agency and that they are a significant contribution to debates about human trafficking and its representation in the digital age. Last but not least, we call for more open and flexible histories of national cinemas and international conflicts, which may include independent documentary productions as examples of non-official diplomacy. All in all, the examples discussed in this article directly confront the issue of migration and serve as problematic examples of migration and as problematic examples of thinking from and across borders.


  • Information Science


  • transnationalism from below; independent documentary; border thinking; ceuta; melilla; barcelona