Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe

Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe


Cinema of transvergence

Language: English

Building on Marcos Novak's notion of 'transvergence' and combining this with Deleuze and Guattari's concept of the rhizome, Will Higbee coins the term of 'a cinema of transvergence', which he proposes as 'an alternative approach to the national or the transnational'. It enables film scholars to 'better appreciate how postcolonial and diasporic cinemas engage, function and produce meaning within and across national and transnational positionings'.

Novak's concept of transvergence can be conceived of as the opposite of 'convergence'. 'Whereas convergence suggests movement towards a fixed and final point of resolution or consensus, transvergence, as used by Novak, is complexity, incompleteness, fragmentation and even chaos. In the context of national/transnational cinemas we might say that whereas a nationalist ideology might attempt to paper over the cracks of difference, transvergence, in a very postmodern way, aims to expose and foreground (celebrate even) such differences. However, from the apparent weakness of fragmentation and potential chaos comes strength since transvergence allows for a myriad of possibilities, an open-ended challenge to the fixed positionings typically offered by hegemonic structures of knowledge and power.' 

A cinema of transvergence reflects the desire of postcolonial theory to re-frame marginality by challenging hegemonic modes of thought and binary structures. It is 'an engaged (politicized) site of resistance which foregrounds the experiences of the alienated marginal other (Novak's allo-). Indeed, inherent in the idea of the rhizome is a deconstruction of the concept of centre and margin—exposing the fact that, ... centre and margin exist as little more than perceived or constructed identities and positionings to serve hegemony'. 


Cf. also Diasporic cinema


Will Higbee (2007) 'Beyond the (trans)national: toward a cinema of transvergence in postcolonial and diasporic francophone cinema(s)', Studies in French Cinema, 7:2, pp. 79-91

Marcos Novak (2002), 'Speciation, transvergence, allogenesis: Notes on the production of the alien', Architectural Design, 72:3, pp. 64-71.

Posted by Daniela Berghahn on 29 Jan 2008 • Comment on this term

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