The daughter as crisis/Daughters of the crisis: Women and contemporary Greek visual media

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Abstract

Recent Greek fiction films have been celebrated, mostly abroad, for speaking to the socio-political situation in Greece. The crisis has put a spotlight on local cinematic production, so that films such as Dogtooth, Attenberg, Alps, The sentimentalists, Standing aside, Watching, Miss Violence, have been garnering attention and awards in the international festival circuit. These films have been discussed as being most often preoccupied with the family unit, both as a symptom and an allegory for society or an entire people. Whilst very often prominent or protagonistic, the female characters are almost always presented as either victims, stand-ins for a collective suffering; or as 'active accomplices without agency‘ (Kazakopoulou 2016). Whilst many of these films can make claims to giving space to women on screen, female characters very often serve merely to reaffirm the stereotypes that they might see themselves as fighting against. As these women bear the brunt of the suffering, both in real and allegorical households, their value seems to stem predominantly from their status as innocent victims unwilling or unable to fight back convincingly. This paper argues that Greek fiction films produced during the austerity years have not only fallen short of representing the collective subjects who have been pivotal in resisting, persisting, and organising, but they have failed to represent the collective subject at all, save in its embodied, individualised and sexist figure of the victimised daughter. The paper juxtaposes this picture with that of the flourishing world of Greek bottom-up documentary productions doing the work of reframing the narratives of crisis and documenting the struggles of community organising, as collected in the digital archive #greekdocs. Following Silvia Federici, I insist that Greek fiction films of the austerity years, whist bringing (young) women to the center of the screen, do so by reaffirming that part of our collective consciousness in which 'women have been designated as men‘s common‘ (Federici 2011), contrarily to the work done in recent guerilla documentaries that engage 'commoning‘ and struggling for justice, both in terms of mode of production and choice of subject matter.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteHETEROPOLITICS INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP PROCEEDINGS: Refiguring the Common and the Political
Pagine64-74
Numero di pagine11
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018
EventoHETEROPOLITICS INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP: Refiguring the Common and the Political - Thessaloniki, grc
Durata: 14 set 201715 set 2017

Workshop

WorkshopHETEROPOLITICS INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP: Refiguring the Common and the Political
CittàThessaloniki, grc
Periodo14/9/1715/9/17

Keywords

  • Greek cinema
  • commons
  • feminism

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