Janice Haaken

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Since visual images invoke the spectator’s experience of unmediated access to the inner world of the subject, the evocative power of photographic images may readily reproduce forms of voyeurism. This under-theorizing becomes particularly problematic in projects that document the lives of migratory and marginalized women. Drawing on several decades of prior field research and documentary film projects, Professor Haaken presents a study carried out with women refugee and asylum-seekers in the UK. In discussing photographic images from the study, Haaken provides a framework for working through a series of ethical, political, and methodological dilemmas. She draws on psychoanalytic feminist theory, critical psychology, and participatory action research methods to argue for the importance of an approach to the visual that includes the dynamics of spectatorship as well as the dynamics of the research setting itself as an affectively rich and conflicted site of knowledge production.

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