Women’s Writing, Photography, and Mobility
By Giorgia Alù
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
Journeys Exposed: Women’s Writing, Photography and Mobility examines contemporary literature written by women that are all related to Italy in different ways. It argues that photography provides women with a means to expose aspects of their nomadic self and of others’ mobile lives within and beyond the writing process. By resorting to the visual, women individualistically respond to forms of hegemonic power, fragmentation, displacement, loss and marginality and make these experiences key to their creative production.
List of Figures
Introduction: Narrating, Exposing, Moving
Performances: Escapes and Resistance
1 Fleeting Photographs and Vanishing Rebels in Melania Mazzucco’s Fiction
2 Stranger at Home: Ornela Vorpsi’s Visual Writing of Endurance
Intersections: Itinerancies with a Camera
3 Hidden Lights: Monika Bulaj’s Empathic Photo-Reportages of Afghanistan
4 Carla Cerati’s Photo-Textual Social and Personal Journeys
Tapestries: Transits through Origins
5 Re-writing: Narrations of Family Displacement
6 Re-Imaging: Threads, Laces and Stitches
Conclusion: Multiple Exposures
Giorgia Alù teaches in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney.
"How does the intersection of writing and photography make women’s lives visible and create new ways of seeing for women? Dwelling in the space that at once joins and separates word and image, Giorgia Alù offers a compelling and original exploration of little-known women writers and photographers who entertain diverse relationships with Italy as native insiders, naturalized outsiders and émigrés. At once illuminating in its formal analysis and passionate in the exploration of complex life stories, the book’s reflection on female identity as a fluid act of journeying across social, cultural and national boundaries breaks new ground in interdisciplinary and visual studies."
- Giuliana Minghelli, Associate Professor, McGill University
"Journeys Exposed: Women’s Writing, Photography and Mobility is a fascinating study of several contemporary women writers, all related to Italy in different ways, whose work combines writing with photography in extraordinarily inventive ways to narrate the female, mobile self. Alù ranges boldly across a wide variety of genres and media – diverse forms of photography and writing, but also tapestries, lace, scars on skin, and film – to discuss the diverse ways in which these women create, narrate and re-present their selves as they travel through space and time. The selection of authors is highly original, covering a richly varied selection of relationships to Italy as well as combinations of representational approach: the Italian novelist Melania Mazzucco, the Italophone Albanian writer and photographer Ornela Vorpsi, and the originally Polish anthropologist, documentary maker and photographer Monika Bulaj, who writes in Italian, are just three of the creators to whom Alù introduces her readership. Indeed this book is, amongst other things, a wonderful introduction to contemporary works at the cutting edge of photobiography, as readable as it is well-informed.
-Alù skilfully threads her argument
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