Visual politics and the aesthetic turn in international relations have emphasized the power of the image in world politics. Postcolonial and decolonial feminist theory shows the urgent need to rethink research and teaching methods. What happens when these concepts converge and such thinking is translated into practice? Engaging with a broad range of topics – the politics of everyday life, health, HIV/AIDS, Africa, post-colonialism, gender/feminist theory, visuality, film, and method – in Seeing Politics Sophie Harman looks at scholars who are pushing the boundaries of how they do research, how they communicate their research to a broader audience, and what counts as scholarship in world politics. Through a detailed exploration of the political process of film production, from inception and co-production to distribution and exhibition, she addresses the tricky transnational relationships, government gatekeeping, and global hierarchies of film governance that control and marginalize the stories and people we see. Fundamentally, Seeing Politics is about how narrative feature film challenges and advances the discipline of international relations, revealing aspects of politics that would otherwise remain unseen and unaddressed. Film is not just a way of communicating research. It is a method that produces research and visibility, advancing research practice and knowledge in international relations. Innovative and compelling, this book is about the politics of seeing, being seen, and what stops us from seeing.
"This is one of the best books I have read in a long time: it is well written, moving, informative, sophisticated and genuinely original. Showing how film can make politically visible what we often do not even notice, Seeing Politics appeals to a wide readership, not only in the realm of international relations but also in health, feminist theory, African politics and film studies." Roland Bleiker, Professor of International Relations, University of Queensland