- A Grammar of Peripheralization
- Neill Blomkamp’s District 9
- Book title
- Peripheral Visions in the Globalizing Present
- Book subtitle
- Space, Mobility, Aesthetics
- Pages (from-to)
- Leiden: Brill Rodopi
- Volume (Publisher)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
This article claims that no community is peripheral. In a collection of studies devoted to the periphery, the hypothesis may sound paradoxical. The point is not to provoke but to argue that peripheral subjects must first be constructed as such but a grammar of peripheralization.
To explore the rules and effects of the grammar of peripheralization, I look at District 9, a film directed in 2009 by Neill Blomkamp. The hybrid storytelling environment (a faux documentary about a dystopic science fiction story) both reflects and critiques the peripheralization of a population of aliens stranded in Johannesburg.
The film exposes and denounces the malicious circle drawn by hegemonic forces: the Aliens are meticulously constructed as disgusting so that disgust can be used a posteriori to explain why they must be destroyed. Although the plot fails to provide any way out for the characters, the narratological tactics succeed in framing the possibility of an anti-peripheralization counter-narrative.
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