Jeroen Boom | Cinematic Cartographies of Urban Peripheries in Contemporary Europe

Jeroen Boom | Cinematic Cartographies of Urban Peripheries in Contemporary Europe | Radboud University Nijmegen, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures | Supervisors: Prof. dr Anneke Smelik & dr László Munteán | 01 September 2019 – 31 August 2023 | j.boom[at]let.ru.nl

European cities have been privileged sites for thematizations of modernity, progress, and national identity. What happens at the margins of these cities tends to acquire less attention. This research aims to map the production of urban peripheries in contemporary cinema from a trans-European perspective in order to understand the political, aesthetic and affective dimensions of marginality across and amidst local expressions of urban deprivation. Europe’s urban outskirts have long been seen as either a violent spectacle or a placeless wasteland in the shadows of the city-center. This project aims to de-essentialize this dominant narrative and dismantle its aura of universalism. Although diverse in their industrial context, the filmmakers under examination (e.g. Céline Sciamma, Matteo Garrone, and Ruben Östland) are interconnected through the Deleuze-Guattarian concept of ‘minor cinema,’ characterized by its struggle to define itself against the hegemonic and exclusive discourse that occludes it. This research will explore how these minor filmmakers attach divergent feelings and meanings to Europe’s urban peripheries, tracing the different strategies and tactics that are employed in imagining these marginal spaces.