Imagined Communities and Gypsy Stereotypes: The Spanish Film Alma Gitana

Milagros López-Peláez Casellas

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    Since the main narrative strategy in the Spanish film "Alma Gitana" (Chus Gutierrez, 1995) is the gypsy component and the meeting of minority and hegemonic elements, this film could be read as a multiculturalist attempt at establishing tolerance to difference. However, and contrary to some criticism about the film, this paper argues that gypsy stereotypes are not contested but reinforced in the film. The gypsy identity it depicts is essentialist on the basis of a series of collaborative characteristics. The flamenco music and dance act as the building tool for a fixed identity and even though, as Stuart Hall asserts, this gives us "a good night's rest", it also denies the possibility of change or the inclusion of the gypsy in mainstream Spanish culture. Instead the film depicts the gypsies' identity as fixed and immutable and so serves, in particular, to keep the stereotype of the submissive gypsy woman unaltered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-35
    JournalThe International Journal of Literary Humanities
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2014

    Bibliographical note

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    • Spanish Gypsies
    • Stereotypes
    • Identity
    • Flamenco
    • Gypsy Women
    • Masculine Gaze


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