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Telenovelas de “realidad ficcionada”/ Telenovelas of “fictional reality”

Since the introduction of the telenovela in Latin America, social reality of the continent has been represented in its melodramatic scripts. There are telenovelas that do this more clearly than others. For such we use the working term telenovelas of "fictional reality". We understand those to be telenovelas that highlight social phenomena that cannot be traced back to any concrete historical event but are nonetheless part of Latin American history and present. These include, for example, migration, femicide or corruption. These are issues that have always been part of Latin American history and haven’t lost their relevance. The migration of Latin Americans to the U.S., the difficulties of arriving in the U.S., corruption, the fear of violence and poverty, and repression against women are ongoing problems on the continent and therefore certainly play an important role on the formation of Latin American identity. Likewise, they are issues that for a long time could not influence social debates, as they were kept under wraps or haven’t been acknowledged, such as violence against women, which only became part of political and social discussions through feminist protests and movements such as ni una menos (#NiUnaMenos). Although these phenomena are hardly associated with concrete historical facts in national historiography, addressing these issues in telenovelas, even in a fictional representation, is important for our project. We assume that stories about femicide, migration, or corruption in telenovelas can also evoke memory images in viewers and will therefore be included in our research. Likewise, telenovelas or series that address these topics can trigger ongoing discussions.

Examples for telenovelas of fictional reality:

- About migration: La doble vida de Estela Carrillo (Mexico, 2017), Eva Luna (USA, 2010), Allá te espero (Colombia, 2013), Nino, o Italianinho (Brazil, 1970)

- About corruption: Por estas calles (Venezuela, 1992), La venganza de Analía (Colombia, 2020)

- About femicide: La Doña (USA, 2016), Alguien te mira (USA, 2010)

Find more information about telenovelas of fictional reality:

- Pastel, Renée (2019): Hashtag Television: On-Screen Branding, Second-Screen Viewing, and Emerging Modes of Television Audience Interaction. In: Keith Feldman und Abigail de Kosnik (Hg.): #identity: Hashtagging Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Nation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, S. 165–180.