A Diffractive Analysis of Documentary Film No existimos: Making Visible the Invisible with an Eccentric Technology of Gender

Keywords: technology of gender; eccentric subjects; diffraction apparatus; feminist documentary cinema; representations of gender-based violence


Reading through one another insights raised by Teresa de Lauretis (1987; 1990), Donna Haraway (1988; 1992), Annette Kuhn (1994) and Karen Barad (2007), this article approaches feminist documentary cinema as diffraction apparatus and eccentric technology of gender. The article is divided into four sections. The first section follows Kuhn’s and de Lauretis’s definitions of cinema as technology of gender and of the subject of feminism as eccentric. We bring these ideas together with Barad’s and Haraway’s proposal of diffraction as an optical metaphor for the production of knowledges. In the second section we elaborate on what the application of a diffractive methodology to the analysis of documentary cinema would entail. We do so by putting forward three methodological tools: emotionality (Ahmed 2014), materiality (Olivieri, 2012), and performativity (Bruzzi, 2000; Butler, 1990, 1993, 2015; Barad, 2007). In the third section we apply this to the discussion of Spanish documentary No Existimos (Solano, 2014). We conclude by summarising how the diffractive and eccentric paradigms can contribute to a better understanding of the possibilities of feminist documentary cinema for co-creating and re-making the world.


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Author Biography

Orianna Calderón-Sandoval, University of Granada




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