Authors: Debra Faszer-McMahon and Victoria L. Ketz
Extent: 294 pp
Publication: April 2015
Around the turn of 21st Century, Spain welcomed more than six million foreigners, many of them from various parts of the African continent. How African immigrants represent themselves and are represented in contemporary Spanish texts is the subject of this interdisciplinary collection.
Analyzing blogs, films, translations, and literary works by contemporary authors including Donato Ndongo (Ecquatorial Guinea), Abderrahman El Fathi (Morocco), Chus Gutiérrez (Spain), Juan Bonilla (Spain), and Bahia Mahmud Awah (Western Sahara), the contributors interrogate how Spanish cultural texts represent, idealize, or sympathize with the plight of immigrants, as well as the ways in which immigrants themselves represent Spain and Spanish culture.
At the same time, these works shed light on issues related to Spain’s racial, ethnic, and sexual boundaries; the appeal of images of Africa in the contemporary marketplace; and the role of Spain’s economic crisis in shaping attitudes towards immigration. Taken together, the essays are a convincing reminder that cultural texts provide a mirror into the perceptions of a society during times of change.
This collection of essays provides readers with both specific and theoretical explorations of Spain’s most pressing issue today: a new presence of Africa. Every essay answers in its own way a fundamental question: How is Spain’s relation to Africa changing in this age of globalization? The contributors deal with the complexity of this new cultural reality with sophistication and deep understanding. Michael Ugarte, University of Missouri, USA
This rich and exciting collection of essays offers insightful readings of literature, film, music, art, websites and blogs produced by Spaniards, African immigrants and African authors from Morocco, Western Sahara and Equatorial Guinea. It is a must read for anybody interested in issues of race, gender, agency, power and representation. Daniela Flesler, Stony Brook University, USA