This book examines film and media representations of the social, political, and economic issue of human trafficking, one of the most dramatic challenges of today’s globalized world. Hashamova productively combines fieldwork in NGOs in southeastern Europe, social science data, and the analysis of Western and East European anti-trafficking films and media and their reception in the United States and the Balkans. Her book identifies a disconnect between the global flow of trafficking images and their local comprehension. The critical analysis of documentaries, feature films, video clips, and NGOs’ media materials and the responses they elicit from spectators reveals the flaws of these products and the ideological structures present both in them and in their audiences.
Acknowledging the uneven quality and impact of all films and media products, the book, guided by trauma theory, concludes with an examination of their relative ineffectiveness and inability to shock the viewer and create a citizen ready to take action against trafficking. The author seeks to explain why, despite substantial attention to the problem, communities continue to react with indifference and denial, and turn a blind eye to the problem.
Screening Trafficking: Prudent or Perilous offers fresh insights to readers interested in human trafficking and its representations as well as to policymakers who need to make in well-informed decisions.