chapter  5
24 Pages

Re-writing

Narrations of Family Displacement

This chapter focuses on the private use of migration photographs and on aspects of the social function of the images. In particular, one question that needs further consideration, and that was raised with regard to Carla Cerati's work, is how these female authors deal with the temporality of the photographic image in order to reconstruct both a personal and a collective history. The female author appropriates old photographs, and, together with the help of oral and written material, she re-represents, re-cites and re-writes stories. By using photographs from family and public archives and placing them in her text, the author-viewer repositions and reimagines herself as a reading and viewing subject: she can now recognize herself both in the narratable other and as the other. The reader is invited to reflect on the photograph as a mise-en-scène that masks poverty and struggle. It is part of a collective imagery of social aspiration and delusion, hope and displacement.