- freely available
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(7), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8070206
What the camera in fact grasps is the “natural” world of the dominant ideology. Women’s cinema cannot afford such idealism; the “truth” of our oppression cannot be “captured” on celluloid with the “innocence” of the camera: it has to be constructed/manufactured. New meanings have to be created by disrupting the fabric of the male bourgeois cinema within the text of the film.
2. From the Reflecting Mirror to the Diffraction Apparatus
…it is through emotions, or how we respond to objects and others, that surfaces or boundaries are made: the “I” and the “we” are shaped by, and even take the shape of, contact with others (…) the surfaces of bodies “surface” as an effect of the impressions left by others (…) emotions are not “in” either the individual or the social, but produce the very surfaces and boundaries that allow the individual and the social to be delineated as if they are objects.
3. Feminist Cinema: Visualising Alliances from and against Precarity
4. A Diffractive Reading of Cuidado, resbala8 and Yes, We Fuck!
Because normally, within the world of documentary and audiovisual creation, a lot of emphasis is placed on the author’s gaze, which is individual and hierarchical. That person has to have a gaze of their own. And we were proposing exactly the opposite.
What has subsequently been the central and most powerful axis of the documentary is that the gender axis and the axis of functional diversity are the same axes practically. I mean, in the end, the structure of oppression is the same, isn’t it? That attempt to justify social inequalities because of biological differences is a very old story and that is why the discourses are so parallel and so related.
All the stories have enriched me a great deal, and of course mine, well, I would not change the experience I had for anything, what I felt in that screening. Because for me it was like a before and after. I think it’s a beautiful way to learn to love oneself, to love oneself even more, if I already loved myself then even more, and also to love the body because in the end, I think it’s impossible to love yourself if you do not love your body (….) To have a body is not something problematic, I believe it is the most beautiful thing in the world to have a body and to be able to enjoy it. And fortunately the documentary is an example, it shows that bodies are enjoyable.
5. Three Effects of Feminist Material-Discursive Practices in Documentary Cinema
Conflicts of Interest
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In her PhD thesis, co-supervised by Adelina Sánchez-Espinosa, Beatriz Revelles’s employs diffractive methodology as a bridge between the Social Sciences and the Humanities (Revelles Benavente 2014, p. 75). Our article takes its inspiration from this proposal.
For a comprehensive revision of the concept of social representation, see Rubira García et al. (2018). It could be productive to read Barad’s diffractive methodology through Serge Moscovici’s theory of social representations, particularly due to his understanding of representation not as reproduction, but as a re-production, i.e., a new production of meaning “born from the interactions between the subjects (at all levels, including individual, group, institution, or at a massive scale) and the object itself” (Rubira García et al. 2018, p. 3). His approach blurs the separation between object and subject, focusing instead on the interactions which, for Barad, are more accurately described as intra-actions, as explained in the next section. Like Barad, Moscovici resorts to quantum-physics inspired metaphors to explain the active role of representations in co-creating the real: “Here and there we find a tendency to consider that social representations are the inner reflection of something external, the surface and ephemeral layer of something deeper and more permanent. While everything points to see in them a constitutive factor of social reality, just as invisible particles and fields are a constitutive factor of physical reality” (Moscovici and Miles Hewstone quoted by Rubira García et al. 2018, p. 3).
Realism in cinema is characterised by representations that “present an appearance of transparency by effacing the processes of meaning production in their own textual operations.” (Kuhn 1994, p. 151).
Peter Wollen coined the term “counter-cinema” in 1972. The features of this type of cinema are, according to Wollen, those that oppose the characteristics of mainstream Hollywood productions, namely, “estrangement”, “narrative intransitivity”, “aperture” and “unpleasure”, among others (Wollen  2002). It is a year after, in 1973 that Claire Johnston talks about feminist cinema in terms of counter-cinema.
Thomas Young performed the double-slit experiment with light in 1801. In 1927, Davisson and Germer demonstrated that electrons show the same behaviour: “The Davisson-Germer experiment showed that under some circumstances, matter (in this case electrons) exhibits wavelike behavior. Since the Davisson and Germer experiment, many other experiments have confirmed this result for other kinds of matter as well. That is, there is direct empirical evidence that matter—not just light—manifests wave behavior under the right experimental circumstances.” (Barad 2007, p. 83).
The other modes are: expository, observational, participatory, poetic and reflexive.
“Countervisuality” is a concept coined by Nicholas Mirzoeff to refer to a resistant vision structured around the tension between the “need to apprehend and counter a real that does exist but should not, and one that should exist but is as yet becoming” (Mirzoeff 2011, p. 477).
A shorter version of the analysis of this film has been published in Feminist Media Studies (Calderón 2017).
Replacing the term “disability” with that of “functional diversity” has been put forward in Spain by the “Movimiento Vida Independiente” (Independent Life Movement), which is articulated through a virtual community called “Foro de Vida Independiente” (Independent Life Forum), founded in 2001.
The term cisgender, as opposed to transgender, refers to those people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth.
“El postporno lo que intenta hacer es coger el lenguaje visual del porno corriente que tanto configura nuestra idea de lo que es la sexualidad, y darle la vuelta, politizarlo y aquéllos que eran objetos, convertirlos en sujetos que enuncian su propio placer, su propio deseo.” Antonio Centeno. Q&A session. 5 November 2016 in Granada. All translations in this article are ours.
Rubin explains that, in western heteronormative societies, sex is regulated by a sexual value system. Within the charmed circle of so-called good and natural sexuality we find that which is “heterosexual, marital, monogamous, reproductive, and non-commercial.” Moreover, “it should be coupled, relational, within the same generation, and occur at home. It should not involve pornography, fetish objects, sex toys of any sort, or roles other than male and female. Any sex that violates these rules is ‘bad’, ‘abnormal’, or ‘unnatural’.” (Rubin  2006, p. 152).
According to Laura Mulvey (Mulvey  1988, p. 58), fetishism fragments the female character into fetish images, such as her legs or her high-heel shoes.
In haptic cinema, the scopophilic drive is replaced by the pleasure evoked by other senses, thus opening up a synaesthetic dimension.
Agential cuts, according to Barad, do not produce absolute separations, but an agential situated separability, “a ‘holding together’ of the disparate itself” (Barad 2012, p. 46).
Transfeminism keeps on working with the political subject “women”, but advocates for a subject of feminism that includes other subjectivities, in as much as gender and the biological differences employed in the legitimisation of social inequalities do not only oppress women but also all those who do not fit within androcentric norms, such as queer individuals and people with functional diversity.
“Porque normalmente desde el mundo así de la creación documental, audiovisual, hacen mucho hincapié en la mirada del autor o de la autora. Una mirada individual, el autor, jerárquica; esa persona tiene que tener una mirada propia. Y nosotras estábamos planteando todo lo contrario.” Leonor Jiménez. Personal interview. 23 January 2017 in Málaga.
“Eso de la cámara como elemento invasivo y de poder” Leonor Jiménez. Personal interview. 23 January 2017 in Málaga.
“Si hablamos de vulnerabilidades o de desigual trato, yo creo que ahí se juntan las tres cosas. Por ser mujer, por ser migrante, por ser empleada doméstica.” Carolina Suárez. Personal interview. 23 January 2017 in Málaga.
“cuestiona, critica y pone en evidencia todas las contradicciones del sistema patriarcal y su correlato económico que es el capitalismo”. Carolina Suárez. Personal interview. 23 January 2017 in Málaga.
Vimeo website. Date of access: 20 February 2019. https://vimeo.com/67552738.
“Lo que luego ha sido el eje central y potente del documental que es que, el eje de género y el eje de diversidad funcional son el mismo eje prácticamente, o sea, que al final la estructura de opresión es la misma, ¿no? Ese intento de, de intentar justificar las desigualdades sociales a partir de las diferencias biológicas es una historia muy vieja y que por eso los discursos son tan paralelos y tan afines.” Antonio Centeno. Skype interview. 20 November 2016.
Instances of this are the steps towards the abolition of prostitution taken recently by the Spanish socialist government and their contestation from sex workers associations, attempting to create a sex workers trade union.
“Quien esté por la abolición de la prostitución, puede incorporar la realidad de la diversidad funcional al proceso de construir una sexualidad humana general suficientemente rica y positivamente apreciadora de la diferencia como para eliminar la demanda de servicios sexuales más allá de la represión policial.”
“Todas las historias me enriquecen muchísimo y desde luego la mía, bueno, no cambiaría por nada del mundo la vivencia que viví, que sentí en esa proyección. Porque para mí fue como un antes y un después. Yo creo que es una forma preciosa de aprender a quererse a una misma, a quererse más todavía, si ya me quería pues ahora más todavía, y bueno también a querer al cuerpo porque al final, creo que es imposible quererte si no te quieres el cuerpo (…) realmente no es nada problemático, es lo más hermoso del mundo tener un cuerpo, creo yo y poder disfrutar de este cuerpo. Y afortunadamente el documental es un ejemplo de que los cuerpos son disfrutables.” Soledad Arnau. Q&A Session. 16 October 2018 at the University of Granada.
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