On social practices which Donna Haraway calls "Teddy Bear Patriarchy"

  • Jelena Juresa
  • Asa Mendelsohn


Jelena Jureša’s video installation Aphasia consists of three chapters, each focusing on the absurdity arising from the collective silence surrounding crime and the compartmentalization of historical events, tracing the line between Belgian colonialism, Austrian antisemitism and the war in Yugoslavia. The film borrows the term 'aphasia' not exclusively from medical vocabulary—where it refers to trouble finding words or losing the ability to speak—but also from the writing of scholar Ann L. Stoler, who coined the term 'colonial aphasia', referring to the occlusion of knowledge in addition to collective amnesia, and the difficulty of generating a vocabulary that associates appropriate words, or concepts with appropriate things. Aphasia brings together compartmentalized historical events, through the history of racism and eugenics, focusing on the blind spots of history and the difficulty of speaking about the troubled past. The film charts the line starting with museum dioramas through photography to film, and sees them as deeply interwoven with imperialism and colonialism, used in order to produce a template for the blooming science of biological or physical anthropology.

How to Cite:

Juresa, J. & Mendelsohn, A., (2019) “On social practices which Donna Haraway calls "Teddy Bear Patriarchy"”, Documenta 37(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/documenta.81903

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Published on
14 Jan 2019
Peer Reviewed