Female Photographic Representations in the Post-Ottoman Landscape: the Female Body as a Battleground of Imperialisms and Nationalisms

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December 30, 2015

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Photographie ancienne femme ottomane orientalisme transculturel autoportrait early photography Ottoman woman orientalism transcultural self-potrait

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Womyn Wimmin Woman Womon Human females

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Aikaterini Gegisian, « Female Photographic Representations in the Post-Ottoman Landscape: the Female Body as a Battleground of Imperialisms and Nationalisms », Études arméniennes contemporaines, ID : 10670/1.69r62p


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Abstract En Fr

The paper explores how contemporary artistic practices employing archival methods can intervene in colonial, nationalist and gendered photographic representations. Taking as a starting point the photographic installation Self-Portrait as an Ottoman Woman (2012, on going) comprised of postcards featuring women in traditional dresses and national costumes of the post-Ottoman landscape, it examines the complex processes in the production and consumption of photography related to Orientalist practices, Ottoman Imperialism and various nation-building processes. Considering how the collection of postcards problematises the historical accuracy of the female representations, the paper argues that alluding to the idea of the “Ottoman woman” constructs a collective space of belonging for a series of conflicting and oppositional social, ethnic and religious positions. In emphasising the instability of gender representations, Self-Portrait as an Ottoman Woman treats images of the past not only as documentary evidence but also as unstable bodies layered with contradictory significations. Rejecting chronological and geographical taxonomies and organising the postcards based on the posture of the women, the work shapes a series of movements that disrupt specific ideologies and question the male gaze.

Ce texte tente d’évaluer la manière dont des pratiques artistiques actuelles peuvent agir sur des représentations photographiques genrées ou empreintes de présupposés coloniaux ou nationalistes. Utilisant comme point de départ l’installation de photographies Self-Portrait as an Ottoman Woman (2012), composée de cartes postales où figurent des femmes en habits traditionnels et tenues nationales issues du contexte post-ottoman, l’auteure met en relation sa réflexion sur les processus de production et de réception des photographies et sa critique des discours de domination.

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