Tuesday 23rd of July 2024


Identity Construction and Spaces In-Between: The Checkpoint and the Tunnel in the Television Series The Aliens

Ilaria Villa, Università di Milano pdf_icon_30x30




Abstract: This article provides an analysis of the use of space in the British television series The Aliens (Fintan Ryan, E4, 2016, six episodes). The series is set in an alternative version of today’s UK, where aliens from another world are an ethnic minority and live segregated in their own assigned area, which is physically separated from the world of humans by means of a high wall. Space divisions are central in the narrative and are, I argue, fundamental in creating social divisions and in shaping the characters’ notions about the world they live in. For this reason, my article aims to explore how the issue of bordering is represented in The Aliens and how the action of border crossing is significant for constructing the cultural identity of the protagonist, who is half-human, half-alien, and who moves between the two worlds. I rely mainly on cultural studies and on semiotic approaches, drawing also on border studies and on the academic literature on identity construction.


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