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Documentary ResistanceSocial Change and Participatory Media$
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Angela J. Aguayo

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190676216

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190676216.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2021

Subjugated Histories and Affective Resistance

Subjugated Histories and Affective Resistance

Abortion Documentaries as Botched Political Subjectivity

(p.149) 5 Subjugated Histories and Affective Resistance
Documentary Resistance

Angela J. Aguayo

Oxford University Press

Starting in the early 1970s, many documentaries began addressing the shifting cultural climate surrounding the issue of abortion in the United States. While some consideration has been given to how abortion has been represented on television and in motion pictures, scant attention has been paid to how the documentary genre has forged the public space for this controversial issue. This chapter briefly maps and assesses how feminists have documented and utilized the documentary genre to recover women’s history and reclaim public space for reproductive justice and the failures to accomplish these aims as access to reproductive care continues to erode. The chapter tracks how women, engaged in feminist struggle, create documentary commons specific to the collision between lived experience and social expectations. The chapter focuses particularly on a moment in 2005 when Third Wave feminist and activist filmmakers attempted to engage abortion politics through the documentary confessional mode. Tracking the move from public confession to representations of an escalating and violent antichoice movement brings the struggle into sharper focus. Analysis of these documentaries and their parallel activist interventions includes interviews with three directors, archival material, and ethnographic research.

Keywords:   abortion documentary, affect, feminism, emotional habitus, documentary confessional, speaking out, self-discovery, guilt–shame–relief arc, armed heritage myth, late-term abortion

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