Latinidades 3.0, Renewed Aesthetics of Transculturalism
Karine Barbot | This research project aims to enquire how US Latinos make use of hypermedia resources to reconstruct and express their ethno-linguistic identity based on multi-lingual content. Generally of mixed background, their identity emerges out of the dynamic negotiation of a blurred “otherness” from within, rooted in a daily socio-cultural triangulation, i.e. between US cultural standards, Latino pan-ethnicity and their own Latin American heritage (Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican etc.). A century-long process, US Latinos’ struggle for recognition and integration has been waged through a great many types of media and is continually gaining in presence and strength. But can media resources effectively break through and therefore both unfold and intensify a renewed episteme of multiculturalism? The hypothesis orienting this entire project is that this might be, to a certain extent, notably possible on specific hypermedia platforms of communication defined among other things by interactive participation, defragmented multimodal content and seemingly infinite virtual worlds, in particular by being intermingled with multi-lingual representations. What (renewed) pragmatic aesthetics can US Latinos experience from these characteristics? And how can this prove a challenge to monolithic thinking on identity construction based on nationally rigid monolingual terms? Such “Latinidades 3.0” might radically redefine the US melting pot, the concept of “Latinidad” as represented in the past by US Latinos themselves and, more generally, enlighten our Western understanding of the “Self-Other” concern at the advent of the 21st century.