Title

“Look at Me, I Am the Captain Now": Media Representations of Somalis and Their Implications

Presenter Information

Saeed Mohamed
Clint Lemkus

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 271

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Media Representations, Somalis, Non-Somali Perceptions

Abstract

Popular media representations of Somalis, such as the Hollywood blockbuster film, Captain Phillips, affect both Somali and non-Somali perceptions of Somali men and women. In our research, we review such media representations, which emphasize drug abuse, violence, and criminality among and by Somalis. Captain Phillips, for example, depicts Somalis in a controversial light, portraying them as barbarians, savages, and uncivilized, in a storyline which glorifies American triumph. In a combined reflective and impressionistic style of video production, we use the camera as a catalyst to solicit reactions from both Somali and non-Somali students at Central Washington University. We analyze and visually represent the different stereotypical images as well as capture student reactions. Somali students in the United States retain strong ties with their homeland and, therefore, are bound to view representations like Captain Phillips through a more complex perspective than non-Somali students. Furthermore, they are likely to view Captain Phillips' perspectives as one dimensional, predictable, flat and shallow, whereas non-Somali students in the United States may view this film as truth and fact, and hail Captain Phillips' efforts as heroic and patriotic.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Lene Pedersen

Department/Program

Individual Studies

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology & Museum Studies

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 21st, 3:00 PM May 21st, 3:20 PM

“Look at Me, I Am the Captain Now": Media Representations of Somalis and Their Implications

SURC 271

Popular media representations of Somalis, such as the Hollywood blockbuster film, Captain Phillips, affect both Somali and non-Somali perceptions of Somali men and women. In our research, we review such media representations, which emphasize drug abuse, violence, and criminality among and by Somalis. Captain Phillips, for example, depicts Somalis in a controversial light, portraying them as barbarians, savages, and uncivilized, in a storyline which glorifies American triumph. In a combined reflective and impressionistic style of video production, we use the camera as a catalyst to solicit reactions from both Somali and non-Somali students at Central Washington University. We analyze and visually represent the different stereotypical images as well as capture student reactions. Somali students in the United States retain strong ties with their homeland and, therefore, are bound to view representations like Captain Phillips through a more complex perspective than non-Somali students. Furthermore, they are likely to view Captain Phillips' perspectives as one dimensional, predictable, flat and shallow, whereas non-Somali students in the United States may view this film as truth and fact, and hail Captain Phillips' efforts as heroic and patriotic.