Fictional characters in a real world: unruly fictionalised encounters in Borat, The Ambassador, and the Yes Men’s media hoaxes

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    Abstract

    This article is a study of the critical potential and ethical implications of encounters between fictionalised characters and unsuspecting real people. Through the case studies of Borat, The Ambassador, and the Yes Men’s media hoaxes, I aim to show how the use of fictionality as a performative strategy creates a liminal interaction that possesses a critical force which cannot be created in either classical documentaries or fiction films. The article brings together theories of fictionality as a rhetorical strategy and theories of unruly documentary artivism to investigate to whom the guise of fictionality refers and to which risks they are exposed. It is argued that the practice of unruly artivism can be characterised as a specific type of metamodernist art, and that encounters between fictionalised characters and real people (which I term ‘unruly fictionalised encounters’) constitute a subgenre which is characterised by the ethically-complex deceit of the unsuspecting real people.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftEuropean Journal of English Studies
    Vol/bind23
    Udgave nummer2
    Sider (fra-til)206-223
    Antal sider18
    ISSN1382-5577
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - 2019

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