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Media uses and appropriations in the experiences of LGBTIQ+ immigrants and refugees in the city of Barcelona
The hegemony of heterosexuality and cisgenerity makes the experiences of LGBTIQ+ people constantly silenced and invisible. This conjuncture is further aggravated when we address the issue of the migration of these subjects. In order to contribute to the problematization of this theme, the objective of the present work is to analyse how are processed the media uses and appropriations, mainly mediated by the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), by LGBTQI+ immigrants and refugees from Global South countries residing in the city of Barcelona (Spain). The relations between media consumption and the dynamics of (in)visibility and the exercise of citizenship in their migratory experiences are also verified. The qualitative methodology includes: a) a literature review aiming to discuss the particularities of LGBTIQ+ immigration and refuge and its interface with the field of communication, especially from the concept of socio-communicational visibility; b) semi-structured interviews with ten LGBTQI+ immigrants and refugees from Global South countries residing in the city of Barcelona, conducted during 2019. From its own narratives, the analysis focuses on understanding how media relates to their migratory project. In general lines, it is possible to verify that media is an essential element for these LGBTIQ+ immigrants and refugees, and its uses and appropriations are mainly linked to: a) obtaining information about the living conditions of LGBTIQ+ people in Spain; b) the establishment and maintenance of local, national and transnational communicational spaces; c) the exercise of citizenship. The singularities of the experiences of the LGBTIQ+ immigrants and refugees interviewed demonstrate the need for specific forms of media uses and appropriations due to the fact that they are crossed by the dilemmas arising from the (in)visibility paradoxes of a non-hegemonic sexual orientation and/or gender identity, which are associated with a condition of precariousness. Thus, we can verify that the uses and appropriations of the media are relevant in the insertion of these immigrants and refugees in the socio-cultural context of the city of Barcelona, in their capacity of agency and in the exercise of citizenship.
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