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How can images ‘do and undo’ politics? When do visual texts (media representations, news imagery, music videos, fashion, dancing,) respond to political conflicts and how do they shape them? What political power do images carry, and how do they produce, mediate, and/or transgress normative gendered identities and sexualities within wider circuits of power? Taking the gendered politics of images in Palestine/Israel as my subject matter, this presentation explores the contradictory ways visual culture acts as a battleground where conflicting forces of resistance and domination vie for recognition. Using a gender lens, I ask what this dynamism means for opening wider opportunities to theorise and challenge racialized, national, and settler-colonial operations of gendered power in and through visual culture.
Polly Withers is an ESRC LSE Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Media and Communications and the Middle East Centre. Her interdisciplinary, ethnographic and gender-sensitive research explores everyday politics in Palestinian preformative and expressive music practices. She is particularly concerned with tracing the identities, relations, hierarchies and social contexts such popular cultural idioms form, and when these shift.
Shakuntala Banaji is Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE, where she also serves as Director of Graduate Studies and Programme Director for the MSc Media, Communication and Development.
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