“Now I Fight for Belonging”:
A Cosmopolitan Refugee Meets Regional Australia in Constance on the Edge
Abstract: This article addresses cosmopolitan cinema through the figure of a former refugee in an Australian-made documentary, Constance on the Edge (Belinda Mason, 2016). Beginning with an overview of cosmopolitanism as a project and a political ideal, as well as its relevance now, I then trace its manifestation in the discourses of refugee advocacy that have been evident in Australia over the last couple of decades. This helps set the stage for a close reading of the film, in which a Sudanese asylum seeker who has been resettled in a regional town with her family is struggling to find a sense of belonging in her new home. I argue that such an instance of cosmopolitan cinema facilitates the audience’s capacity to see both similarities and differences in the refugee other, thereby enabling a politics of solidarity that is simultaneously in dialogue with global and national discourses.