Close With and Kill The Enemy: Investigating gender and military conflict through a deconstructed film making practice

Adkins, Kirsten ORCID: 0000-0002-9907-6691 (2019) Close With and Kill The Enemy: Investigating gender and military conflict through a deconstructed film making practice. In: IUAES 2019 Inter Congress: World Solidarities, August 27 - 31 2019, Adam Mickiewicz Univerisity Poznan, Poland. (Submitted)

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This paper looks at the construction of masculinities through an analysis of the representation of female soldiers seen in British military recruitment films. This paper outlines an interdisciplinary en-quiry, using art and film making practice, to critique the ways in which themes of equality and inclu-sion are used for the promotion of military violence. ‘Nowhere is the notion of war as a mans game more entrenched than in state militaries’ (Basham 2016) ’Simply put the infantry will be more effective in war if we include the best talent our coun-try can breed - male and female’. (MOD 2018) In 2016 in the UK women were invited to take up ‘close with and kill the enemy’ fighting roles. The Ministry of Defence said these changes demonstrated equal opportunities. In the same year the cultural theorist Victoria Basham wrote, ‘the relationship between armed force and masculinities is possibly the most salient and cross-culturally stable aspect of gen-dered politics.’ But are these gendered roles either stable or entrenched? This paper focusses on deconstructivist methodology through which I explore instabilities asso-ciated with the construction of a gendered military warrior hero in British Army recruitment films: In some of the original films masculinity is conveyed through comforting motifs of tea and belong-ing. ‘Female masculinities' are performed through scenes of hand to hand combat and physical endurance. My films combine theory with performance practice and borrowed footage. Through the process of cutting, isolating, repeating and fragmenting existing films I challenge ways in genders are con-structed and subverted. I draw on theorisations by Derrida, Butler, Benjamin and Weil to ex-plore the blind spots and inconsistencies within the texts. This presentation comprises of a film and performed paper which outlines a practice led method-ological approach. It forms part of a wider PHD research project on the construction of gender, militarism and violence. Gender, military, deconstruction, instability, interdisciplinary practice

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1995.9.DN Documentary Films
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Creative Practice and Theory
Depositing User: Kirsten Adkins
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2022 12:50
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 08:00

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