Negotiating gender, sexuality and ethnicity in Fatih Akin's and Thomas Arslan's Urban Spaces

Leal, Joanne and Rossade, Klaus-Dieter (2008). Negotiating gender, sexuality and ethnicity in Fatih Akin's and Thomas Arslan's Urban Spaces. German as a Foreign Language, 2008(3) pp. 59–87.

URL: http://www.gfl-journal.de/Issue_3_2008.php

Abstract

This essay explores the relationship between the representation of gender, sexuality and ethnicity and the negotiation of urban space in the post-migrant ‘city films’ of two of the most prominent Turkish-German filmmakers working today, Thomas Arslan and Fatih Akın. It aims to identify whether stereotypical representations of ethnicallyspecific gender relations of the sort to be found in the so-called ‘cinema of duty’ of the 1970s and 1980s have been abandoned in contemporary filmmaking in favour of more complex and diverse versions of the interaction between male/female identities and ethnicity, or whether, in fact, more recent films produce a new set of stereotypes in this regard. It investigates representations of Turkish-German masculinities and examines the ways in which female identities have been imagined on screen, before turning briefly to representations of gender/sexual dynamics which fall outside the binary logic underpinning all of the films discussed here, exploring the consequences of these for their construction of Turkish-German identities.

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