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Title: Annah, infinite and ablenormativity as imperial duress : relations, assumptions, power and abuse in cripping 'Annah la Javanaise'
Author: Barokka, Khairani
ISNI:       0000 0004 8511 0013
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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In delving into how inconsistently Annah, the young subject of Paul Gauguin’s painting Annah la Javanaise (c. 1893-4), is written about in terms of historical facts, this work queries assumptions of ablenormativity in narratives surrounding them. This multidisciplinary thesis presents scenarios in visual art and creative writing, with artistic process-as-research as primary methodology, presenting Annah outside of their usual context, and as a pained body—prefaced by how such ‘unreliable’ narratives echo the jumble of statements surrounding them; in turn using inconsistent, sometimes clashing ‘facts’ about Annah in these narratives, in order to negate the potential violence of declaring one truth for them, emphasising the liminality of information—in order to explicate what norms these portrayals rupture. Drawing from and linking the work of Sara Ahmed (2002, 2004, 2013), Yasmin Gunaratnam (2013), disability and chronic pain scholars such as Alison Kafer (2013) and Alyson Patsavas (2014), Indonesian feminist and disability scholarship such as Slamet Amex Thohari’s (2013) work, and Ann Laura Stoler’s (1995, 2016) theories, particularly in augmenting the latter’s work on colonial Southeast Asia and imperial duress, this thesis places into relief the functions of compulsory ablenormativity regarding certain young, brown girls of supposed Southeast Asian descent. It exposes how elements of white supremacy and of patriarchy are linked to such ablenormative visual assumptions, and the real, often devastating effects such interpretations have on Southeast Asian women and girls today: ablenormativity, in interpretations of visual culture, as imperial duress. It argues for (a) decolonial, pained-aware readings, and (b) soulbody readings as methods of dismantling the affect structures of imperial duress.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral