South Asian Diaspora in Spain and its representation in Spanish Cinema

Author:   Swagata Basu
Publisher:   GRFDT
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Spain, traditionally a migrant sending country, has received a great number of immigrants since early 2000s. Migrants from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have formed a small but important South Asian Diaspora in Spain that is often perceived as a homogenous group by the Spanish people. Although the number of migrants in this group is comparatively less than the African, Latin American or East European counterpart, their visibility is much higher in Spanish media (film, television and newspapers). This paper will first argue that the pre-existing interest among the Spanish people in Indian cultural aspects such as Yoga, Hinduism, Bollywood etc govern their interaction with the South Asian Diaspora. The paper will highlight the instances which prove that the migrants from South Asia are perceived as a common group by the Spanish people. Then the paper will focus on the representation of the South Asian Diaspora in films. Through the analysis of films the paper will argue that the interaction between the migrants and the autochthonous plays out in either a framework of multiculturalism or eurocentrism. The failure or success of the interaction and/or the possibility of integration depends on this: whether the Other is accepted with its differences (multiculturalism) or expected to adopt the culture of the host society (eurocentrism).

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