chapter  2
26 Pages

Stranger at Home

Ornela Vorpsi’s Visual Writing of Endurance

This chapter discusses interaction between words and visual images in Vorpsi's writing and her creation of a photograph-style narrative. It focuses on evidence mostly from Vorpsi's short novels Il paese dove non si muore mai and La mano che non mordi and from her collection of short stories entitled Vetri rosa. The chapter examines the epistemological value of Vorpsi's photographic production and the way her photographs serve as agents of exposure, empowerment and reappropriation. The oeuvre by Albanian migrant writer and photographer Ornela Vorpsi is particularly revealing of this mobile, nomadic nature. Photography enters the act of her self-writing and the preoccupation with the body informs both the content and form of her written and visual narration. Vorpsi's photographic portraits, together with her fragmentary visual writing, are sites for exposure, cognition, memory as well as endurance against the totalitarian – and phallocentric – politics of spectatorship and control.