South Asian Diaspora in Spain and its Representation in Spanish Cinema
Spain, traditionally a migrant-sending country, has received a great number of immigrants since the 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 look at the trends and patterns of South Asian immigration into Spain. It will argue that South Asian immigrants are unique in their ability to turn their ‘difference’ into tools that help in their survival and integration. Then the paper will discuss the representation of the South Asian migrants in Spanish films. Through the analysis of three 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).