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The spectacle of the hunger-stricken body: a German-Italian terrorist, Swiss prisons and the (ir)rational body politic

Grisard, Dominique. (2015) The spectacle of the hunger-stricken body: a German-Italian terrorist, Swiss prisons and the (ir)rational body politic. European Review of History, 22 (1). pp. 138-160.

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Abstract

In Central Europe, terrorist attacks by Communist and anarchist groups were a common occurrence in the 1970s. Many of them existed 'underground', robbing banks and carrying out bombings of symbolic places, as well as kidnapping high-profile public figures. Arguably some of the most publicised terrorist acts happened in prison. In Switzerland, it was the hunger strikes of Italian-German anarchist Petra Krause that unsettled the Swiss state and its citizens. Not only did her prison resistance manage to confound the gendered power relations between the rational, sane body politic and the unsavoury, emaciated body of the irrational hunger striker, she also upturned the gendered differentiation between the masculine perpetrator and the feminine victim. Finally, her hunger strikes garnered much attention and support among the radical Left and feminists alike. Her body politics thus point to the vulnerability of the citizen-subject, and more importantly, to weaknesses of the state. Indeed, imagery of the prisoners' feminised bodies broke out of the confines of the prison to cause more than just a public spectacle.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Gender Studies > Geschlechterforschung (Maihofer)
UniBasel Contributors:Grisard, Dominique M
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:1350-7486
e-ISSN:1469-8293
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:14 Mar 2019 14:24
Deposited On:14 Mar 2019 14:24

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