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DETECt – Detecting Transcultural Identity in European Popular Crime Narratives

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Pour la fascination qu’exercent leurs structures narratives, les polars européens ont démontré qu’ils avaient un potentiel énorme, mais trop peu exploité, pour circuler au niveau transnational

DETECt – Detecting Transcultural Identity in European Popular Crime Narratives

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

DETECt – Detecting Transcultural Identity in European Popular Crime Narratives is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme and co-ordinated by the University of Bologna, alongside a committee composed of four academic institutions (the University of Aalborg, Link Campus University, the University of Limoges and the German Film and Television Academy Berlin), in league with industry partners including TV2, Miso Film, Visit Aarhus and the Library of Detective Stories, which numerous universities were involved in (Umeà, Debrecen, Aarhus, Paris Nanterre, Bucharest, Ioannina, Queen’s University of Belfast, Freie Universität Berlin and various others).

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Over a three-year period, the DETECt project has provided SSH (Social Science and Humanities) scholars and students, professionals within the creative and media sectors, political heads and everyday citizens with countless opportunities to appreciate and critically examine the way in which crime narratives in fiction, film and television are produced, distributed and consumed all over the continent, offering an engaging, critical account of the social, ethnic, gender and cultural diversity which characterises European society today.

By way of conferences, academic publications, outreach activities, an online survey, public conferences, an exhibition, film screenings, a tourist app, a screenplay competition and a variety of online tests, videos, courses and events, including an MOOC on European detective stories, DETECt’s activities and results have demonstrated to thousands of people in more than 10 countries why popular culture is a powerful resource for connecting European citizens and favouring mutual understanding.

The project looked at examples of fiction, film and TV fiction from 1989 to the present day in order to understand how strategies for co-production, serialisation, translation, adaptation, distribution and much more, have influenced the transnational promotion of popular European culture. The project also explored how representations of gender, ethnic and class identities influence the capacity of European stories to migrate beyond their place of origin and to be appropriated elsewhere in a variety of different ways.

On account of the universal appeal of their narrative structure, European crime stories have demonstrated, both on paper and on screen, their huge potential, which probably remains underexploited, for transnational circulation, both within and outside of the continent. The European TV market, meanwhile, is still largely monopolised by American productions. The linguistic fragmentation of Europe remains a fundamental obstacle to an increase in consumption, both within and outside of the EU, of European audiovisual programmes.

VoD platforms support and promote the creation and broadcasting of original RML (Regional or Minority Languages) productions. Current discussions regarding RML tend to ignore the potential offered by VoD platforms. Research into audiovisual RML productions has revealed significant gaps in knowledge when it comes to RML audience research. Above and beyond RML, all media produced in languages other than English are in competition with one another across international markets. Strategies are clearly needed in order to bolster support for multilingual translation of multimedia products.

This document examines the results of the research carried out into detective stories in order to arrive at conclusions of more general interest and a series of political recommendations. It attempts to respond to the following questions: i) how can the EU support the growth and expansion of contemporary storytelling cultures and traditions – such as, but not limited to, the field of crime fiction – in ways which favour the growth of local economies and transnational circulation of their cultural products? And ii) How can the EU intervene in the current tendency towards cosmopolitan transculturation, in such a way as to support the production and transnational circulation of local media products which express both local and translocal values?

Download the full summary of the main findings of the DETECt project

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(Traduit de l'italien)

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