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Women under ( D omi ) n ation : The M anipulation of G ender I magery in F ormer Yugoslavia (Makavejev’s, Draskovic’s and Zilnik’s film contributions). M anchester, 23-25 May 2013 "Ethnicity, Race and Nationalism in European Media and Film: Rights, Responsibilities, Representations".

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Women under (Domi) nation:

The Manipulationof Gender Imageryin Former Yugoslavia

(Makavejev’s, Draskovic’s and Zilnik’s film contributions)

Manchester, 23-25 May 2013"Ethnicity, Race and Nationalism in European Media and Film: Rights, Responsibilities, Representations"

MatejaSincic

PhD candidate

IMTInstitute for Advanced Studies Lucca (Italy)

outline
Outline
  • Research Question
  • Gendered Symbolism: from Supra Nationalism to Super Nationalism
  • From Sexual Freedom to Rape and Alienation:

Makavejev (WR: The Mysteries of the Organism, 1971)

Draskovic(VukovarPosteRestante, 1994)

Zilnik (Marble Ass, 1995)

  • In Lieu of a Conclusion
research q uestion
Research Question
  • How the passage from a supra national idea, embodied in Yugoslavia’s “brotherhood and unity” to a super nationalistic one, depicted in the aggressive purity of the ethnosin the Nineties, affected the creation and manipulation of gender imagery?
  • How and to what extent the success of nationalism was linked to the repression of sexuality and gender inequality?
gendered symbolism from supra nationalism to super nationalism
Gendered Symbolism: from Supra Nationalism to Super Nationalism
  • The Yugoslav system: progressive legal rights for women but no gender equality (Ramet, S 1999)
  • The outbreak of the 1990s wars marked a stronger political marginalization of women (Kesic, O 1999)
  • Influential role of the aggressive, nationalist male elites
  • Women’s bodies became everybody\'s business (Kesic, V 2003)
  • “Women as icons of nationhood, to be elevated and defended, or, denigrated and disgraced” (Enloe, C 1990)
gendered symbolism from supra nationalism to super nationalism1
Gendered Symbolism: from Supra Nationalism to Super Nationalism
  • Gender and nationalism are strongly correlated: distinction between “us” and “them” (Yuval Davis, N 1997)
  • Women as “objectified others” (Papic, Z 1994)
  • Women: symbols of national purity
  • The purity of ethnical reproduction: vital for the existence of the nation (Kligman and Gal, 2000)
  • An assault of women’s bodies: assault on the nation (Mostov, J 2000)
  • Women under hiber-nation rather than domi-nation?
gendered symbolism from supra nationalism to super nationalism2
Gendered Symbolism: from Supra Nationalism to Super Nationalism

Nationalism and gender imagery:

  • Construction of nationalistic propaganda: women as symbols of national purity
  • Need for national diversification: women as symbolical boundaries of the nation
  • Nationalism escalates in warfare: women as material borders of the nations
from sexual freedom to rape and alienation makavejev s draskovic s and zilnik s contributions
From Sexual Freedom to Rape and Alienation:Makavejev’s, Draskovic’s and Zilnik’s contributions

“WR: MisterijeOrganizma” (WR: The Mysteries of the Organism, 1971)

  • Socialism , “must not exclude human sensual pleasures from its programme”
  • Praying for equality and free love, “only by liberating both love and labour can we create a self-regulating worker’s society”
  • On Hitler’s picture: “Look at these women, those stupid cows, those slaves. They love (...) honour (...) and obey authority”
  • Challenging the centre and the traditional structures of power, the emancipated women dies (Parvulescu, C 2009)
from sexual freedom to rape and alienation makavejev s draskovic s and zilnik s contributions1
From Sexual Freedom to Rape and Alienation:Makavejev’s, Draskovic’s and Zilnik’s contributions

“Vukovar,JednaPrica” (VukovarPosteRestante, 1994)

  • Amplification of the dimension of the “other”
  • Top-down manipulations which destroy everything, even love
  • “We\'re no longer fat or thin, smart or mysterious; we\'re either Croats or Serbs”
  • A raped Croat or Serb woman stood for a raped Croatia or Serbia (Kesic, V 2003)
  • “Vukovar is becoming a graveyard”
  • Sudden amnesia: from “brotherhood and unity” to violence and rape
from sexual freedom to rape and alienation makavejev s draskovic s and zilnik s contributions2
From Sexual Freedom to Rape and Alienation:Makavejev’s, Draskovic’s and Zilnik’s contributions

“Dupe odMramora” (Marble Ass, 1995)

  • Transgender: Zilnik emphasizes the constructed nature of gender identities (Moss, K 2008)
  • Merlinka’s mission: women’s protection and “Balkan pacification”
  • “People from the battlefields brought fridges, Mercedeses and gold while my Johnny brought home a destroyed cupboard”
  • Merlinka: “Me a whore? I\'m a nurse, a saint. I\'ve saved a lot of young girls of being raped”
  • High societal costs of war: collective alienation and individual despair
in l ieu of a conclusion
In Lieuof a Conclusion
  • Somehow fifty years of socialist emancipation simply vanished as an integral part of the male-centered nationalistic projects.
  • Women still have to decide if they really want a solution, a way out. Or, they will choose, yet again, hiber-nation and domi-nation over activation?
main sources
Main Sources
  • Enloe, C. (1990), Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics, Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Goulding, D. (2003), Liberated Cinema: The Yugoslav Experience, 1945-2001, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Levi, P. (2007), Disintegration in Frames: Aesthetics and Ideology in the Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav Cinema, Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Mayer, T. (2000), Gender Ironies of Nationalism – Sexing the Nation, London and New York: Routledge.
  • Yuval-Davis, N.(1997), Gender & Nation,London, Thousand Oaks and New Delhi:Sage Publications.
  • Ramet, S. (1999), Gender Politics in the Western Balkans: Women and Society in Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav Successor States, University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State UniversityPress.
  • Zarkov, D. (2007), The Body Of War: Media Ethnicity and Gender in the Break-Up of Yugoslavia, Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press.
films
Films
  • WR:MisterijeOrganizma (WR: Mysteries of the Organism) produced by DusanMakavejev, directed by DusanMakavejev, SvetozarUdovicki, screenplay DusanMakavejev, camera (color, Black and White), PegaPopovic, AleksandarPetkovic, running time: 85 Min, 1971.
  • Vukovar: JednaPrica, (VukovarPosteRestante), produced by Danka MuzdekaMandzuka, directed by Bora Draskovic, screenplay MajaDraskovic, Bora Draskovic, camera (color), AleksanderPetkovic, running time: 96 Min, 1994.
  • Dupe odMramora(Marble Ass)produced by Miodrag Milosevic, directed by ZelimirZilnik, screenplay ZelimirZilnik, camera (color), Miodrag Milosevic, running time: 86 Min, 1995.
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