Thesis Title in English (If different from above)

Invisible and silenced : ghosts and borders in Beautiful and Barcelona : scrap heap tramps

Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-11-2016

Major Department or Program



Janis Breckenridge


This project examines Biutiful, a film co-produced by Menage Atroz, Mod Producciones, Focus Features Internacional, and Televisión Española, and Barcelona: Los vagabundos de la chatarra, a graphic journalism text, both of which are visual works that explore the traumatic and contemporary reality of immigrants in Barcelona. In this investigation, the genre of testimonio serves as the approach in analyzing the two works, focusing on the importance of the reader in the larger testimonial project. In fact, both works highlight, thanks in part to the braided image of the mirror, the spectator’s complicity, implying that we, as citizens of a global capitalist system, are responsible for the abuse and marginalization of immigrants. Like was used to investigate Feeding Ground and “El mundo gira,” this project incorporates the writings by Gloria Anzaldúa about the definition of the border and those by Anne Whitehead about trauma fiction to explore the visual testimonies of the characters who navigate the borders—physical, metaphoric, and linguistic—of Barcelona. Furthermore, this investigation employs the theories of Jacques Derrida about the revenant and of Julia Kristeva about the abject in order to emphasize that the rejection of the immigrant is as spiritual as it is physical. In turn, this project argues that the same bodies that the State attempts to shun are, hypocritically, consumed in a cannibalistic fashion by our society. All four works visually exclude and include the reader at once, making the reader share an ambiguous role, characterized by borders, with the immigrants.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Jorge Carrion -- Journalist, Sagar Fornies -- Journalist, Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu -- Biutiful (Motion Picture), Gloria Anzaldua, Anne Whitehead, Jacques Derrida, Julia Kristeva, Barcelona (Spain), Immigrants -- Crimes against, Immigrants -- Spain -- Barcelona -- Social conditions, Testimonio, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2016 -- Spanish Department

Permanent URL

Document Type

Whitman Community Accessible Thesis

Terms of Use

If you have questions about permitted uses of this content, please contact the ARMINDA administrator



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).