British muslims, memory and identity: Representations in british film and television documentary

  • Macdonald M
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Abstract

This article explores representations of the memories of British Muslims of South Asian origin in British television documentary and film. Recent media emphasis on current Muslim identities devalues memorys capacity to illuminate the formation and renegotiation of identities. In fictional texts where memories feature, Muslim identities are frequently subsumed under a generic South Asian identity within stereotyped tropes of generational conflict or contrasts between back home and home in Britain, while specifically Muslim identities are highlighted only in narratives designating Muslims as problems. Documentary places more emphasis on the relational aspects of identity formation, stressing intergenerational links and interaction between migrants preconceptions and subsequent experiences of Britain. Although still marginalized in the schedules, documentaries everyday presentation of British Muslims memory narrations confronts conceptions of Muslim identities as defined solely by religion, subverts the constructed binary between Muslim and British identities, and suggests the diversity of identities within a population that is normatively homogenized.

Author-supplied keywords

  • British Muslims
  • belonging
  • film
  • home
  • identity
  • memory
  • representation
  • television documentary

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Authors

  • Myra Macdonald

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