To let you understand : Franki Raffles, photography and feminist solidarity
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This essay examines how images by the feminist documentary photographer Franki Raffles illuminate the possibilities for – and challenges involved in – the instigation of feminist solidary between different geographic sites. Drawing on Chandra Talpade Mohanty's distinction between ‘solidarity’ and ‘sisterhood’, whereby the former signals a process of active struggle that recognizes, rather than erases, differential experience, it argues that Raffles sought to examine how gender and labour coalesced across a number of sites – specifically, Scotland, the Soviet Union (Russia, Georgia and Ukraine) Israel and Palestine – while remaining attentive to specific socio-political and cultural contexts. It situates Raffles's work in relation to the seismic geopolitical shifts that began in 1989, particularly the collapse of the Soviet Union and the acceleration of globalization. Raffles's work underscores the importance of feminist methodologies for analysing the relationship between the constructs ‘British art’ and ‘the global’, through her photographic examination of how globalizing processes led to gendered divisions and inequalities of labour.
Spencer , C E 2022 , ' To let you understand : Franki Raffles, photography and feminist solidarity ' , Art History , vol. 45 , no. 3 , pp. 624-649 . https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8365.12661
Copyright © Association for Art History 2022. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DescriptionFunding: Arts and Humanities Research Council (Grant Number(s): AH/S004750/1; Grant recipient(s): Catherine Spencer)
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