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Enacting the Multiple Spaces and Times of Portuguese Migration to France in YouTube Humor: Chronotopic Analysis of Ro et Cut’s Vamos a Portugal

Michèle Koven, Isabelle Simões Marques

Abstract


Abstract. We examine the production and contested reception of a YouTube comedic performance by France-based comedic duo, Ro et Cut, involving Portuguese migrants in France. Specifically, we analyze Vamos a Portugal, a video which depicts one Portuguese migrant family’s preparation for their annual summer return trip from France to the Portuguese “homeland.” We use Bakhtin’s notion of chronotope, i.e., discursive formulations of space, time, and person mobilizable in interaction, to analyze how performers and commenters construct spatio-temporally situated images of Portuguese migrants, while simultaneously positioning themselves spatio-temporally in relation to these images. In particular, we compare how France-based Luso-descendant and nonmigrant Portuguese commenters construct and react to the video. Many Luso-descendant commenters embrace the video as evoking a nostalgic personal, familial, and Portuguese past, from the perspective of an urban French present. However, nonmigrant Portuguese viewers in Portugal reject the video as evoking an outmoded and illegitimate version of Portuguese culture, from the perspective of a contemporary Portuguese present. Our comparison of the chronotopes through which differently positioned commenters interpret the video illuminates the contested politics surrounding performances of Portuguese migrant and national culture in the diaspora in France versus in Portugal.

Keywords


Portugal, France, Luso-descendant, humor, chronotope, heteroglossia, YouTube, migration, diaspora

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