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Accepted Paper:

Mama Illegal: a cartography of precarious subjectivities of undocumented domestic workers  
Brigitte Hipfl (Klagenfurt University)

Paper short abstract:

In this presentation, the documentary film Mama Illegal (Austria 2011, Ed Moschitz) will be discussed as exemplary media coverage of the different dimensions of precarious subjectivities of women migrants caught in what Arlie Russell Hochschild calls the “global care chain”.

Paper long abstract:

In his film Mama Illegal (Austria 2011), Ed Moschitz documents seven years of the lives of three women, who left their family and kids due to extreme poverty and lack of perspectives in their Moldavian village to become undocumented domestic workers in Austria and Italy. Mobility in this film is deployed as an entanglement of refusing unbearable living conditions and the hope and pain connected with it, the exploitative conditions of women migrants who are caught in the "global care chain" (Arlie Russell Hochschild) and the emerging subject formations and processes of becoming. The mapping of the precarious subject positions in Mama Illegal gives insights into historically specific, localized formations of the figuration of contemporary subjectivity that Rosi Braidotti (1994), following Deleuze, calls the nomadic subject. The presentation will juxtapose the cartography of precarious subjectivities of undocumented domestic workers in the film with the portrayals of migrants in Austrian mainstream media, focusing on the social and political effects of the different modulations of affect.

Panel P111
Mobilities, inequalities, power
  Session 1