Female Gazes in the Communist Movement: Women Photographers in the Interwar Period and World War ii

In: Journal of Labor and Society
Giulia Strippoli Instituto de História Contemporânea, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon 1069-06, Portugal

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Women participated in communist movements and contributed to communist culture. At the intersection of women’s history, visual arts, gender studies, history of socialism, and the history of communism, this article focuses on six women photographers—Tina Modotti, Elizaveta Mikulina, Gisèle Freund, Lisette Model, Julia Pirotte, and Gerda Taro—analysing the circulation of their works in the communist press and in circles sympathetic with the communist cause. The research on women photographers’ gazes contributes to a deeper understanding of both the lager networks of communist movement and the multifaceted aesthetics of communist culture. By crossing women’s lives and works, their subjectivity and political paths, the documental and artistic legacy of the images they have produced, the article demonstrates why and how women photographers’ production intersects communist culture during the Comintern and World War ii.

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