Antigone in the London office: documentary film, creativity and female agency

Journal article


Hawkins, M. and Hawkins, M. (2021). Antigone in the London office: documentary film, creativity and female agency. Cultural Studies. 36 (1), pp. 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/09502386.2021.2011930
AuthorsHawkins, M. and Hawkins, M.
Abstract

In this paper, the authors explore female creativity and agency through the means of documentary filmmaking. Husband and Wife is an experimental documentary concerning one woman’s journey from Poland to London, England to reclaim the body of her husband after his death. The authors/directors discuss the process of creating a space where the life of the characters and the life of the camera merge. This creative, feminist space is one of mutual influence between themselves, the protagonist and their documentary film.

In their investigation of the protagonist’s journey from her Polish hometown to the city of London, they all become affected by the process of filmmaking itself and by the widow’s relentless resourcefulness in her mission to reclaim the body of her husband. To understand the widow’s tenacious approach of dealing with UK institutions, as well as her mourning, the authors refer to the feminist theories of Luce Irigaray, and Judith Butler, who offer different conceptualisations of female identity and ethical agency. Drawing upon Irigaray, and Butler’s analysis of Antigone (Sophocles, 441BC), the cinematic picture of the Polish widow’s commitment to her husband’s post-mortem civic dignity is compared to the commitment of Sophocles’ heroine, who transgressed the patriarchal order attributed only to proper, male citizens. The authors of the paper discuss the definition of otherness, as a mode of creative and ultimate resistance that both Antigone and the Polish widow embody, as women acting in the patriarchal world. In their documentary, the authors-directors articulate Polish Antigone’s act of resistance through the angle of female interiority, as defined by Lucy Bolton, which in cinema is more characteristic of male protagonists. In that way they reflect the incomprehensible agency of a woman that is gained through her gendered performance, her creativity and her everyday existence in the world of men.

KeywordsGeneral Social Sciences; Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous); Anthropology; Cultural Studies
Year2021
JournalCultural Studies
Journal citation36 (1), pp. 1-18
PublisherInforma UK Limited
ISSN0950-2386
1466-4348
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/09502386.2021.2011930
Web address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09502386.2021.2011930
Publication dates
Print29 Dec 2021
Online29 Dec 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted20 Dec 2021
Deposited07 Jan 2022
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Accepted author manuscript
License
File description
PDF
File Access Level
Open
Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Page range1-18
Permalink -

https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/8yzzy

Download files


Publisher's version
09502386.2021.pdf
License: CC BY 4.0
File access level: Open


Accepted author manuscript
  • 21
    total views
  • 34
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Husband and Wife
Hawkins, M. (2020). Husband and Wife. London South Bank University. https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.8w3z8
Spotkanie Filmowa, Husband and Wife at Opt-Art, Poland.
Hawkins, M. and Marta, H. (2019). Spotkanie Filmowa, Husband and Wife at Opt-Art, Poland.
Voyeurism in Documentary Filmmaking on Migration
Hawkins, Matthew (2019). Voyeurism in Documentary Filmmaking on Migration. Difference Festival. University of Westminster, London
The Personal is Political: How Polish women negotiate the price of migration
Hawkins, M. and Marchevska, E. (2018). The Personal is Political: How Polish women negotiate the price of migration.
Husband and Wife: Affect, Movement and Female Interiority
Hawkins, Matthew (2018). Husband and Wife: Affect, Movement and Female Interiority. Creative Bodies, Creative Minds. Graz, Austria