Advances in camera technology and filming on mobile phones have allowed migrants to film their own experiences in broadcast quality. How has this changed the way stories of, and about migrants are told in cinema? For decades, migrant stories have been a bedrock in cinema, but films have been beholden to the market gaze, catering their stories for the American and European public.
A look at how technology now created a fundamental shift in the way the stories have been told, especially with the convergence of social media, television and cinema, and how Western powers still maintain control of the narrative.
London based Kaleem Aftab is a film critic and writer, whose work appears regularly in Sight & Sound, The I, The Guardian, The Independent, and Filmmaker Magazine. He is also the Director of International Programming for the Red Sea International Film Festival. He is also the author of an authorised biography on Spike Lee, “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It,’ published by Faber and Faber and Norton. He has also produced award-winning short films and feature films.