Journeys Exposed : Women’s Writing, Photography, and Mobility book cover
1st Edition

Journeys Exposed
Women’s Writing, Photography, and Mobility

ISBN 9781138345027
Published August 22, 2018 by Routledge
220 Pages

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Book Description

Journeys Exposed: Women’s Writing, Photography and Mobility examines contemporary literature written by women that are all related to Italy in different ways. It argues that photography provides women with a means to expose aspects of their nomadic self and of others mobile lives within and beyond the writing process. By resorting to the visual, women individualistically respond to forms of hegemonic power, fragmentation, displacement, loss and marginality and make these experiences key to their creative production.

Table of Contents

List of Figures


Introduction: Narrating, Exposing, Moving


Performances: Escapes and Resistance

1 Fleeting Photographs and Vanishing Rebels in Melania Mazzucco’s Fiction

2 Stranger at Home: Ornela Vorpsi’s Visual Writing of Endurance


Intersections: Itinerancies with a Camera

3 Hidden Lights: Monika Bulaj’s Empathic Photo-Reportages of Afghanistan

4 Carla Cerati’s Photo-Textual Social and Personal Journeys


Tapestries: Transits through Origins

5 Re-writing: Narrations of Family Displacement

6 Re-Imaging: Threads, Laces and Stitches

Conclusion: Multiple Exposures

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Giorgia Alù teaches in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney.


"How does the intersection of writing and photography make women’s lives visible and create new ways of seeing for women? Dwelling in the space that at once joins and separates word and image, Giorgia Alù offers a compelling and original exploration of little-known women writers and photographers who entertain diverse relationships with Italy as native insiders, naturalized outsiders and émigrés. At once illuminating in its formal analysis and passionate in the exploration of complex life stories, the book’s reflection on female identity as a fluid act of journeying across social, cultural and national boundaries breaks new ground in interdisciplinary and visual studies."

- Giuliana Minghelli, Associate Professor, McGill University

"Journeys Exposed: Women’s Writing, Photography and Mobility is a fascinating study of several contemporary women writers, all related to Italy in different ways, whose work combines writing with photography in extraordinarily inventive ways to narrate the female, mobile self. Alù ranges boldly across a wide variety of genres and media – diverse forms of photography and writing, but also tapestries, lace, scars on skin, and film – to discuss the diverse ways in which these women create, narrate and re-present their selves as they travel through space and time. The selection of authors is highly original, covering a richly varied selection of relationships to Italy as well as combinations of representational approach: the Italian novelist Melania Mazzucco, the Italophone Albanian writer and photographer Ornela Vorpsi, and the originally Polish anthropologist, documentary maker and photographer Monika Bulaj, who writes in Italian, are just three of the creators to whom Alù introduces her readership. Indeed this book is, amongst other things, a wonderful introduction to contemporary works at the cutting edge of photobiography, as readable as it is well-informed. Alù skilfully threads her argument through these writers’ self-narrating works, showing how writing and photography work together to represent ‘female mobile subjectivities’ that are shaped by experiences of resistance, marginality and displacement. In this she is supported by an eclectic but compelling collection of thinkers such as Adriana Cavarero, Roland Barthes, Theodore Adorno and Rosi Braidotti, especially in the area of photography and image theory. Dealing as it does with both prize-winning writers and little-known works, but based around the topical and significant theme of women’s self-writing, this book will find a wide and enthusiastic readership from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines; contemporary Italian Studies, but also Photography Studies, Women’s Writing and Visual Culture."

- Akane Kawakami, Reader in Modern French Literature, Birkbeck, University of London

"This volume offers a subtly nuanced and critically sophisticated analysis of a complex nexus: women (both writers and photographers) are at the centre of a web of narratives which range from photographs (real and recounted), fictional writing, biography, and autobiography. Interartistic interconnections, through different modes of representation, are at the core of Alù’s new volume which explores how women narrate themselves and others, with a special emphasis on mobility.
Journeys Exposed belongs to a growing scholarly field which explores the relationship between literature and photography, and uses the complex negotiation between words and images as a means to explore gender, and, through it, hegemonic power, fragmentation, displacement, loss and marginality."

- Giuliana Pieri, Professor of Italian and the Visual Arts, Royal Holloway, University of London