Border wall between Mexico and the US
Video, 24 mins

Who Can Speak?

The right to narrate in stories of Mexico-US border crossings    

American writer Jeanine Cummins attracted widespread criticism from the US Latinx community in 2020 following the publication of her novel American Dirt. Critics accused Cummins and her publishers of peddling ‘trauma-porn’, exploiting the experiences of Mexican immigrants and ignoring authentic Mexican-American voices.

In this short film, Philip Swanson - expert in Latin American film and literature - explores the controversy surrounding American Dirt and the debate about who has the right to tell migrants' stories; comparing Cummins’ novel with more ‘authentic’ and critically acclaimed works on the migrant experience.

Part of Migration Matters Festival 2021.

Research

Film