Locating Hybrid Identity Formations: Readings on Mississippi Masala, The Namesake and Bhaji on the Beach

Abstract

Diasporic cinema or what Hamid Naficy would like to call ‘accented cinema’ is an expression from the interstices of societies where the diasporic groups occupy an ‘in-between’ position. However, with the increasing formation of such groups and thereby blending of different cultures, languages, and nations etc. the concept of hybridity has gained much importance as the agency through which the dominant discourses and essentialised notions of race, nation, and ethnicity can be challenged. Going by Homi Bhabha’s concept of ‘hybridity is heresy’ and it is ‘how newness enters the world’ the current study will focus on the diasporic communities who are such cultural transgressors or translators who are in an ‘in-between’ position, a position of alienation from both the host and originary nation. Taking up Indian diasporic cinema by ‘exilic’ or diasporic filmmakers who are themselves in the interstices of societies, the study will try to look into the transformations undergoing in the identity formations of the Indian diaspora through different generations. The current study takes up three movies- Mississippi Masala(1992) and The Namesake(2007) by Mira Nair, Bhaji on the Beach(1993) by Gurinder Chadha. Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala which depicts the story of an Indian family settled in Mississippi, USA after being expelled from Uganda by the Idi Amin regime. The Namesake is a about a Bengali family based in the USA. Bhaji on the beach’ by Gurinder Chadha entails the journey of a group of Indian diasporic women in Britain. The paper will try to explore the hybridness in the identities of the characters who are torn between nations and in the midst of the assimilation and resistance in their host nations.



Author Information
Rukmini Kakoty, Sikkim Central University, India

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2013
Stream: Media Studies

This paper is part of the MediAsia2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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