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Contesting Spaces in Hanif Kureishi's Sammy and Rosie Get Laid




Parallel abstracts

Drawing on Henri Lefebvre's triad of conceptualized spaces and David Harvey's analysis of modernity, this paper delves into the spatial contestations of modern subjects represented by characters in Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, Hanif Kureishi's screenplay and a film of the same name. Harvey insightfully centralizes the experiences of modernity that tend to orient the ephemeral while securing the immutable at the same time. Juxtaposing this insight with Lefebvre's dissection of the space into spatial practices, the representations of space, and representational spaces, I find each is saturated by the double edge of modernity. Based upon this, this essay anatomizes how individuals in this screenplay, whether as oppressive governors, the economic-political powerless or the defiant middle class, contest spaces to ensure a demarcated identity against all the mutability and uncertainty in the post/modern condition. This essay also renders the dichotomization of the officials and citizens as the spatial oppressors and oppressed dubious. Lumping together two nationalistic regimes, the unjustifiable violence of the oppressed rioters, and the exclusive desire of the leftist bourgeois together in terms of their usage of space, this study argues that governmental figures can be the oppressed in the private spaces, and the oppressed or excluded, such as rioters and radical bourgeoisie in this case, turn to be oppressors contesting spaces for their personal benefits. In this sense, a utopian solution for space usage has to negotiate the shifting and fixing dimension of modernity, as Kureishi has incarnated it by his nomadic subculturalists.

Parallel keywords

space Henri Lefebvre triad modernity nationalism oppression David Harvey Hanif Kureishi subculture


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