Challenging Hegemony, Zineb Sedira’s Mother Tongue

By Michele Waugh.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

I am conducting an investigation of corporeal feminism, a theory which gained ground in the 1990’s, and its relationship to the practice of present-day women artists; specifically with regards to their representation of either themselves or of other women. In this paper I will demonstrate the ways in which Zineb Sedira represents an aspect of modern European Culture. In her video installation piece Mother Tongue she depicts conversations between herself, her mother and her daughter, each of whom speak in their respective ‘mother tongues’: Algerian, French and English. The paper will include a tight, focused discussion of a limited case study highlighting areas of concern for women in terms of cultural and societal identity. I would suggest that Zineb Sedira’s practice challenges the hegemony of globalization. Distinguished philosopher Paul Ricoeur (1913 – 2005) said,
“When we discover that there are several cultures instead of just one and consequently at the time when we acknowledge the end of a sort of cultural monopoly, be it illusory or real, we are threatened with the destruction of our own discovery. Suddenly it becomes possible that there are just others, that we ourselves are an “other” among others.”

Keywords: Cultural, Practice, Theory, Feminist, Globalisation

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.255-264. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.213MB).

Michele Waugh

PhD Candidate, Loughborough University School of Art & Design, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK

I am currently writing up my PhD thesis entitled Corporeal Feminism and the Representation of Women by Women at Loughborough University School of Art & Design; where I am also supervising final year undergraduate dissertation students. My supervisor is Prof. Marsha Meskimmon. Having worked in the visual arts as a Gallery owner and artist’s PA for fifteen years I returned to academic study as a mature student; graduating with a First Class Honours degree in History of Art, from Oxford Brookes University, in the summer of 2005. As a member of the Student Members Committee of the Association of Art Historians I was co convenor of the ‘New Voices Career Day at Tate Britain’ in December 2006. I was also the convenor of Bodies of Evidence, a two day symposium, at Oxford Brookes University and the Ashmolean Museum in 2008. Forthcoming publications include: A Burd’s Eye View: Paula Rego’s Abortion Series, to be included in, Rowe, Dorothy, Meskimmon, Marsha and Lloyd, Fran (Eds.) Diasporic Futures: Women, the Arts and Globalization.

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