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Imaginarien des (Trans-)Nationalen in den Amerikas. Zur Akkommodation des Nationalen in der transnationalen Kulturindustrie

Sebastian Thies

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Imageries of the (Trans-)National in the Americas. Accommodating the Nation to Transnational Culture Industries.

The following article looks into processes of transformation of the nation(-al) in face of the growing transnational integration of the Americas. Although the influence of the nation-states has been steadily decreasing over the last decades, there has been a far reaching accomodation of the discourse of nation in this context. Paradoxically, transnationally operating culture industries play a crucial role in this aspect. Typical discourse strategies of how the national is being employed as a ressource of the culture industries’ identity politics are being explored in a close analysis of the videoclip Frijolero (2003) by the Mexican Metal HipHop-Band Molotov. Frijolero focusses on Mexican mass migration to the U.S. and institutionalized border racism – a highly problematic complex which is fueling imaginaries of culture conflict on both sides of the border. The mise-en-scène of the conflict between migrants and the border patrol is based on ritualized forms of narration. The performative concept of national identity implied makes it possible to combine the „post-national“ critique of U.S. hegemony with Mexican cultural nationalism, both being framed by the narrative logics of transnational music industries. Thus a polyvalent discourse of nation is created offering possibilities of identification for diverse national and ethnic segments of Latin MTV’s transnational public.