"History in the Makin'": The Historization of Beyoncé
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Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is a common subject in academics because of her unprecedented ability to control the narrative around her. A year after performing at Coachella, she had all music journalism centered on her again by releasing a concert-documentary, named Homecoming . This film not only shows her live performance but also reveals an inside-look at the production-process behind it. As a film directed by Beyoncé herself and released by her management, it deserves a critical look concerning its message construction and agenda. There are already extensive works written about her with regards to postcolonial, gender and marketing studies. Hence this case study will be used to study Beyoncé from a new media and performance study perspective. Therefore, this research sets out to explore the use of dramaturgical strategies in Homecoming to historicize Beyoncé's star identity. It explores how Beyoncé's star identity is built on the visual world she creates and therefore argues that her star identity becomes a spectacle , a term coined by Debord. The spectacle of Homecoming employs internal focalizers and a performative voice to position the spectator to view Beyoncé in a larger, historical perspective. The use of vintage, analogue media aesthetics in a digital film creates an intimate viewing experience that suggests that the event happened in the past, simulating age value to emphasize the documentary's supposedly historical value. These dramaturgical strategies create a historical and social context in which the spectacle of Beyoncé plays out the specific role of inspiring young black people and celebrate their shared heritage.