Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Published Privacy

Rodrigo Borja defined publification as “the modern phenomenon of converting recently private affairs or those of exclusive people´s concern into public subjects”[1]. It consists on simply transforming private issues into public ones, being that this can influence complex societies’ organisation and governance.

It seems that, in many cases, publification is a round process. Private matters turn into public, but in order for that it is required for them to be privatised, which means that, by transforming private matters into part of the public “domain” or “acquis”, these are privatised through media; audios, texts and images become media property. Naturally, withe a growing digital platforms market, this is changing.

During Catching Fire film, belonging to Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games trilogy,  Katniss Everdeen seeks Haymitch Abernathy’s help in order to overcome the Victory Tour after an incident in District 11 in which a man gets killed. Haymitch responds by saying: “This trip doesn’t end when you get back home, you never get off this train. You two are mentors now, that means that every year they´re gonna drag you out and broadcast the details of your romance, every year your private life becomes theirs. From now on your job is to be a distraction so people forget what the real problems are”[2].

“[…] your private life becomes theirs”: even thought the plot refers to a totalitarian State, this example reflects my thesis. Two persons´s private lives become a property of the media and power monopoly, then to be shared with the public at mercy of the State´s ends. In other words, the State can make out of such a story -of private affairs for two characters (Katniss and Peeta)- public matters attending it’s convenience.

By Ulises Bobadilla y Jiménez

References:

1. Rodrigo Borja. Enciclopedia de la política. México. Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2002. (Self-translated)

2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire . Dir. Francis Lawrence. Lionsgate, 2013.

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