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    The racist bodily imaginary: the image of the body-in-pieces in (post)apartheid culture

    Hook, Derek (2013) The racist bodily imaginary: the image of the body-in-pieces in (post)apartheid culture. Subjectivity 6 (3), pp. 254-271. ISSN 1755-6341.

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    This paper outlines a reoccurring motif within the racist imaginary of (post)apartheid culture: the black body-in-pieces. This disturbing visual idiom is approached from three conceptual perspectives. By linking ideas prevalent in Frantz Fanon’s description of colonial racism with psychoanalytic concepts such as Lacan’s notion of the corps morcelé, the paper offers, firstly, an account of the black body-in-pieces as fantasmatic preoccupation of the (post)apartheid imaginary. The role of such images is approached, secondly, through the lens of affect theory which eschews a representational ‘reading’ of such images in favour of attention to their asignifying intensities and the role they play in effectively constituting such bodies. Lastly, Judith Butler’s discussion of war photography and the conditions of grievability introduces an ethical dimension to the discussion and helps draw attention to the unsavory relations of enjoyment occasioned by such images.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Apartheid, body-in-pieces, fantasy, images, grievability, photography, racism
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2013 12:08
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:06


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