Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
O' Brien, A.
(Not) Getting the credit: Women, liminal subjectivity and resisting neoliberalism in documentary production.
In Press
Optional Fields
Documentary, production, gender, labour, precarity, liminality
Women experience positive engagements with documentary as an enclave that values their gendered contribution, but also suffer negative encounters with it as a genre that restricts their full involvement, by promoting masculinist practices as normative. This gendered dynamic means that women occupy a liminal space with regard to documentary. Women’s liminal status is experienced negatively in a number of ways: firstly, during commissioning, where their approach to narrative, budgets and directing are questioned; secondly, in terms of work relationships where they are required to be relentlessly ‘likeable’; and thirdly, when credits for work performed are withheld. Women’s subjective identities are constructed around this negative liminal positioning but it can become a position or form of positive adaptation to gendered and neoliberal subjectivity in their working lives. Resistance occurs when women conduct practices such as: firstly, enhancing the status of affective labour; secondly, when they undo or reject working through normative hierarchies; and thirdly, when they collaborate in documentary production to negate neoliberal logics of individualization. Liminality, thus constitutes both a way of understanding women’s negative experiences of gender inequality in documentary production but also a potentially positive form of resistance to the gendered precarity that characterizes creative labour.
Grant Details