Photographic representations of women living with or beyond breast cancer have gained prominence in recent decades. Postmillennial visual narratives are both documentary projects and dialogic sites of self-construction and reader-viewer witness. After a brief overview of 30 years of breast cancer photography, this essay analyzes a collaborative photo-documentary by Stephanie Byram and Charlee Brodsky, Knowing Stephanie (2003), and a memorial photographic essay by Brodsky written ten years after Byram’s death, “Remembering Stephanie” (2014). The ethics of representing women’s postsurgical bodies and opportunities for reader-viewers to engage in “productive looking” (Kaja Silverman’s concept) are the focal issues under consideration.
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DeShazer, M.K. Documenting Women’s Postoperative Bodies: Knowing Stephanie and “Remembering Stephanie” as Collaborative Cancer Narratives. Bioethical Inquiry 11, 445–454 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11673-014-9582-8
- Breast cancer narratives
- Memorial photography
- Artistic collaboration
- Visual culture
- Productive looking