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The journey is the thing: A photographic project on the complex dynamics of self-representation in the context of psychoanalytic family theory

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This visual essay narrates three parallel bodies of photographic work, which negotiate the role of context, displacement and geocultural relocation as metaphors for self-definition. The conceptual framework of the work is underpinned by the psychoanalytic theories of Murray Bowen and Morgan Scott, which locate self-perception at the centre of the familial context and define the quest for self-definition as a symbolic process of map-making. This approach describes a psychological landscape where the fluid relationship between collective and personal identity is conveyed through the metaphor of ‘Mal de Débarquement’ (a diagnosable condition that means nausea of disembarkation). This kind of embedded fluidity in self-representation insinuates a new approach to the practice and possibilities of photographic portraiture, and challenges the traditional definition, which associates the portrait with the depiction of a fixed identity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000405989700York St John University

Publication date: October 1, 2020

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  • The Journal of Greek Media & Culture is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal that aims to provide a platform for debate and exploration of a wide range of manifestations of media and culture in and about Greece. The journal adopts a broad and inclusive approach to media and culture with reference to film, photography, literature, the visual arts, music, theatre, performance, as well as all forms of electronic media and expressions of popular culture. While providing a forum for the close analysis of cultural formations specific to Greece, JGMC aims to engage with broader methodological and theoretical debates, and situate the Greek case in global, diasporic and transnational contexts.
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