Thursday, September 15, 2016

Alexis Williams: Blog 2

When I first started watching my Telenovela, La Esclava Blanca, the first thing I noticed was just how heavy this telenovela is. Though I assumed the topic would be complex and thought-provoking, it has been something I've struggled with; it is hard to sit and "binge watch" because it is heavy and emotionally exhausting.
However, I have truly enjoyed the telenovela because of how unique the story is. Not only do I love that it is an "epoca" telenovela(history remade is always fascinating to me), but I love that it strays from the typical representation of gender, race, and class. It also speaks to how all these characteristics interact and, in the cases of oppression, how the theory of intersectionality relates to these characters and their situations.

Though telenovelas are not known to be "politically correct" when it comes to race issues, this telenovela takes racism expressed in one of its most obvious forms and criticizes the establishment. Because of its touchy subject, there have been other criticisms of the telenovela itself. I have not finished the telenovela yet, but I fear one major criticism I'm going to have is that Victoria, the white woman who was rescued as a baby from the fire that killed her parents and was then raised by slaves, will be the "white savior."

I was so excited when, in the first episode, Tomas had bought his own freedom and had plans to also save his family, but I knew things had to go awry and that, for some reason, he would not be set free on his own accord. Though it would be awesome to see Victoria grow up and fight battles for the abolition of slavery, I will be a little disappointed if Tomas and his family are freed from slavery at the hands of Victoria.

I do appreciate that Tomas and his family are more than just slaves and have unique personalities, strengths, and ideas and that the typically innocent white wives of the slave owners are portrayed as more guilty and involved in the slave-owning. Though this is a more "negative" representation of women, it is a more complex than other representations of women.


  1. Alexis, esta telenovela suena muy pesada y llena de polticiales y sociales. Creo que es interesante la forma en que las telenovelas pueden llamar la atención sobre estos temas. Creo que es importante que la gente se exponga a una gran variedad de telenovelas con diferentes tramas y temas sociales. Las telenovelas pueden cambiar e influir en las cuestiones y normas culturales. Eso es muy poderoso.

  2. I think you bring up an interesting point Alexis. I agree that so many telenovelas and TV shows in general for that matter, try so hard to be politically correct and not offend anybody. We can see this starting to change a little, in my opinion, as shows are becoming more bold, but I think your telenovela is definitely pioneering this change which is great. I respect that it doesn't try to mask the hard things and that the writers are brave enough to use this show to make very real comments on issues society faces. I completely understand why it would be hard to binge-watch though!