Experiencing the Presence: Degrees of Closeness in the Digital Biographies of Migration

Nicola Dusi, Damiano Razzoli


Among the many representations of migration, relevant prominence has been acquired by multimedia biographic discourses and digital enriched documentaries that reproduce the direct experience of migrants and their relationship with hosting societies. This paper aims at proposing a scale of the possible degrees of proximity or closeness in the contemporary media discourses about migration. Drawing on the semiotics of media experience, we focus on how biographic theatrical video, digital artistic based VR installation, data visualization platforms and web documentaries contribute to shape the figure of the migrant and of the border, and how they challenge the dialectic opposition between presence and distance in regard of the migration experience. In this direction, contemporary discourses on migration and migrants’ digital biographies are not only characterized by recovering the so called “capture of speech” of migrants or what idea of border and Self has been produced. Indeed, they are marked by their capacity to generate effects of presence of and to the direct experience of the migrants’ lives.


migrants; borders; digital interfaces; storytelling

DOI: 10.6092/issn.2280-9481/9750


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Copyright (c) 2019 Nicola Dusi, Damiano Razzoli

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.