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War Rape: Trauma and the Ethics of Representation

Authors: Marzena Sokołowska-Paryż,

Publish Date: 2016
Volume: , Issue:, Pages: 223-244
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Since the shock of the scale of the gendercide in the Balkan Wars and Rwanda, there have appeared numerous studies of war rape analyzed from various scholarly perspectives (historical, sociological, anthropological, medical, psychological, legal). In the recent decade, however, another trend has become discernible in rape trauma studies, as represented by Sarah Projansky, Sabine Sielke and Tanya Horeck, all of whom emphasize the need of focusing on the ethics of ‘telling’ and ‘showing’ rape in literature and film. The aim of this chapter is an analysis of the (mis?)representations of war rape in film, with particular emphasis on the ethically-problematic metaphorisation of war rape in relation to the dominant national/political agendas, including a discussion of the overtly ideological constructions of specific rape victim types (the sacrificial versus the defiant rape victim). The select examples from diverse national cinemas testify to the existence of transnational schematas of (mis)representing female trauma.



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