Transnational Screens and Asia Pacific Public Cultures: Vancouver, Toronto, and Hong Kong, 1997-2007

Yeo, Su-Anne. 2016. Transnational Screens and Asia Pacific Public Cultures: Vancouver, Toronto, and Hong Kong, 1997-2007. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

Despite widespread scholarly interest in media globalization in East Asia and the Asia Pacific region, there has been very little attention paid to the circulation of independent screen media. This thesis aims to address this gap by examining three sites and processes of non-mainstream screen distribution and exhibition: a non-profit film distributor in Hong Kong, a diasporic film festival in Toronto, and a non-collecting gallery in Vancouver. Using a scavenger methodology and through empirical research, the thesis reveals how these sites have responded proactively to opportunities and threats posed by deregulation, privatization, and the rise of Asia. Unlike governments or media conglomerates, however, these sites have not been driven by competition and profit-seeking, but by a commitment to social and political transformation. The study highlights the sites’ adoption of a minor transnational strategy—a linking together of peripheral screen cultures and marginal groups to other peripheral screen cultures and marginal groups—as an alternative within globalism and regionalization. It argues that minor transnational practices depend first on “independent sole traders”—educational migrants and cultural workers who broker the movement of media within and across marginal groups—and second, on minor-to-minor distribution and exhibition circuits that are contingent and dispersed. By staging cultural connections and exchanges within and between peripheries, these sites have led to the production of new identities, such as queer Asian, and social imaginaries, such as an “imagined community of indies,” that exceed the logics of the market and the neoliberal nation-state.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Media globalization, transnationalism, independent cinema, film distribution, screen exhibition, Asia Pacific

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


31 August 2016

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Sep 2016 13:13

Last Modified:

07 Sep 2022 17:12


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