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Dwoskin: disability, diaspora, dysphoria

Chamarette, J. ORCID: (2022) Dwoskin: disability, diaspora, dysphoria. Jewish Film and New Media, 10 (2). ISSN 2169-0332

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1353/jfn.2022.a914337


In this article, I argue that looking and staring, which are typical aspects of Stephen Dwoskin’s experimental, highly personal approach to cinema, contribute to a broader sensory enquiry into conditions of diasporic and disabled (gender) dysphoria. I explore the intersecting relationships between these four d’s – Dwoskin, diaspora, disability, dysphoria, understanding how in recent years trans studies, diaspora studies and disability studies have become interested especially in conditions of dysphoria as strategies that negotiate complex embodiment and ethnicity. In doing so, I adopt a hybrid approach to aesthetic modes of self-estrangement and radical interruptions of normative embodiment in Dwoskin’s late films. Adopting what Elliot Evans has described via Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick and Paul B Preciado as a ‘universalising’ orientation of cutting edge trans theory, and earlier work by historians of disability and masculinity such as David Serlin, I read across these concepts to suggest that the formal and aesthetic structures and contexts of Dwoskin’s late films trouble the borders between embodied conceptualisations of diaspora, disability and dysphoria. This has consequences for Dwoskin’s positioning in wider discourses of experimental filmmaking, both within and beyond Britain where he spent the majority of his adult life, and helps to connect the relationships between his diasporic Jewishness and disability. Thinking expansively, this article examines how expressions of dysphoria, discussed in trans, disabled and diasporic communities, have the potential to offer, not recuperation or rehabilitation of Dwoskin’s work, but a space to think from that is resistant to the binarist, normative and exclusionary logics prevailing in British culture at this moment in the 21st century.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Art > Fine Art
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Art > Art History
ID Code:110523
Publisher:Wayne State University Press


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