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Valeria Graziano @ Feminist Methods Masterclass
3 May, Goldsmiths, University of London

Valeria Graziano and Susan Kelly facilitate workshop 'Building with Photoromance: militant methodologies'

@ Feminist Methods Masterclass, Goldsmiths, 3 May 2016

Valeria Graziano (ADRI Post Doctoral Research Fellow) and Susan Kelly (Senior Lecturer, Goldsmiths, University of London) from the Carrotworkers Collective facilitate the workshop 'Building with Photoromance: militant methodologies' as part of the Feminist Methods Masterclass hosted at Goldsmiths from May 3rd to May 6th 2016.


This session will build photoromance working with cameras, narrative, dialogue, and thinking through the seemingly banal everyday situations in which power is reproduced. In the enactment of practices of consciousness raising in the present, the Carrotworkers use methods such as Photo-romance enactments to get at the micro politics of free labour exploitation. The photoromance format was initiated in Italy in 1946, right after the war, and it was so successful that it quickly spread as a popular medium in other countries too. This was always a hybrid product in many ways. On the one hand, it portrayed the female desiring body in complex, more equal relationships with men, depicting a new subjectivity that was considered a scandal at the time (to marry for love was still considered a luxury for instance). On the other hand, photoromancances also constructed a dream-world based on the new Americanised symbols of a consumerist modernity inspired by the glamour of Hollywood. Since the start however, some photoromances were used to discuss political issues with the masses, particularly women (although men did read them as well!). Their formula was a winning one as it mixed love stories and happy endings with explicit political lessons in a powerful pedagogical manner. In the 70s, the Italian feminist movement begun to use photoromances to address the burning themes of divorce and abortion during the campaigns leading to the legal reforms in these sectors; and more recently, in 1985, the Italian movement of Sex Workers produced one to challenge stereotypical representations of sex workers.