Make it visible! – But how? On the portrayal of violence against women in film

Make it visible! – But how? On the portrayal of violence against women in film

Bettina Braun, Anke Schäfer, Luise Reddemann

LaDOC Lecture

»One in three women is a victim of violence,« ran the Amnesty Journal headline in March 2013. Women as a commodity, rape as a weapon, circumcision as mutilation, the systematic abortion of female foetuses, sexual abuse, physical violence against women.

Conceding the perpetrator power over his victim is tantamount to allowing him the exercise of violence. How, therefore, can violence against women be represented in film without re-victimising the women? To what extent do accepted social value systems lead to a casting of roles that keep men in the position of perpetrator and women in the position of victim? Are these value systems supported – or indeed reinforced – by repeated and standardised portrayals of violence against women in the media? What might the cinematic images cause in the negative sense or achieve in a positive sense? What strategies can women film-makers develop to portray violence without getting caught up in existing stereotypes? How can fi lm techniques be applied in a way that permits the emergence of new perspectives as well as a changed and, possibly, changing awareness of the subject?

Kirsi Marie Liimatainen has addressed the issue of domestic violence in her feature film Festung (Fortress), the film with which LaDOC Cologne launches its Lecture Series 2014.
Taking the film as an example, we will attempt to cast more light on the subject in a subsequent discussion with Luise Reddemann, a film-maker and renowned psychotherapist and psychoanalyst. LaDOC members Bettina Braun, filmmaker, and Anke Schäfer, film artist and systemic drama  therapist, will moderate the event.
_Bettina Braun, Anke Schäfer

LaDOC is a network of women fi lm-makers who, in addition to holding regular meetings in Cologne, organise a number of  events, including the LaDOC Lectures, in which women fi lmmakers are invited to bring their films along for discussion. With the focus of the Lectures 2014 firmly on the topics of  gender, violence and power, this two-part event with film presentation and panel discussion is the start of the series.


Bettina Braun

Bettina Braun, born 1969 in Hamburg, studied art and graphic design in England between 1988 and 1993. She completed a post-graduate degree at the Cologne Academy of Media Art from 1995 to 1997. She worked as a free-lance director and designer (for the BBC and WDR television, among others) while still studying. In 2013, she received the Grimme Award for her documentary trilogy Was lebst Du?Was du willstWo stehst Du?

Films by Bettina Braun
Wo stehst Du? 2011 | Nick & Tim 2009 | Was Du willst 2008 | Was lebst Du? 2004 | Durchgangsstation 2001 | Frauen sind im Wesen anders 1999 | Sprech eens aanständich 1997 | Bodies & Borders 1996

Anke Schäfer

Anke Schäfer is a systemic drama therapist and a member of the German Association of Drama Therapists. She is also a systemic film coach, a media artist and a film-maker. Further, she is a member of the documentary film networks LaDoc, based in Cologne, and of AG Dok, a nationwide organisation. She completed a diploma  as creative therapeutic mentor from 2008 to 2011 at the Institute for Drama Therapy in Berlin. In 2012, she enrolled for a further education course in script constellation at the Syst Institute in Munich. Ms Schäfer studied video and performance art with Nam June Paik and Nan Hoover at Düsseldorf Art Academy and completed a postgraduate study course in art at the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. Exhibited worldwide, her works have been nominated for numerous awards including the Prix de Rome 1997 (NL). From 1995 to 2000, she was a visiting lecturer for media art, film and art history at the Maastricht Art Academy as well as at the Braunschweig Art Academy and the Enschede Art Academy (2000).

Luise Reddemann

Prof. Dr Luise Reddemann is a specialist in psychotherapeutic medicine. From 1985 to 2003, she held the post of senior consultant at the Bielefeld Clinic for Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine. Today, she runs her own practice and, since 2007, has taught as Honorary Professor of Psychotraumatology at the University of Klagenfurt. She has published widely, with titles including: Imagination as a Healing Power (2001); Psychodynamic Imaginative Trauma Therapy PITT (2004); The Path Appears Under Your Feet – Mindfulness and Compassion at Times of Transitions and Life Crisis (2011); and Dignity – Approaches to a Forgotten Value in the Realm of Psychotherapy ( 2013). Ms Reddemann has campaigned many years for a more woman-oriented psychotherapy. For this, she was awarded the Bertha Pappenheim Prize of the International Society for the Studies of Dissociation (ISSD).