In this article, Wazhmah Osman and Karen Redrobe consider the storytelling conventions of the award-winning animated documentary Flee (2021) in light of the long history (in mainstream and popular media, as well as in academia) of marginalized peoples not being able to tell their own stories and of subaltern groups being positioned as the subjects of films in which white filmmakers and researchers drive the narrative. They consider the hierarchies of power involved with giving and taking voice and question whose perspective the film privileges, and to what effect. Their conversation is rooted in a working collaboration to think cross-culturally about media, gender, sexuality, and different types of violence.
The Inclusions and Occlusions of Expanded Refugee Narratives: A Dialogue on Flee
Wazhmah Osman is a filmmaker and associate professor in the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University. She is the author of Television and the Afghan Culture Wars: Brought to You by Foreigners, Warlords, and Activists (University of Illinois Press, 2020) and the codirector of Postcards from Tora Bora (Documentary Educational Resources, 2007). She has appeared as a commentator on Democracy Now, NPR, and Al Jazeera and works with community and activist groups.
Karen Redrobe is the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Professor of Cinema and Modern Media at the University of Pennsylvania. Her books include Crash: Cinema and the Politics of Speed and Stasis (Duke University Press, 2010) and Undead: Animation and the Contemporary Art of War (University of California Press, forthcoming) along with numerous edited volumes, most recently Deep Mediations: Thinking Space in Cinema and Digital Cultures (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), co-edited with Jeff Scheible.
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Wazhmah Osman, Karen Redrobe; The Inclusions and Occlusions of Expanded Refugee Narratives: A Dialogue on Flee. Film Quarterly 1 September 2022; 76 (1): 23–34. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fq.2022.76.1.23
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