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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tito/Tata: Fiction and Factuality in Documentary Photographs of the Father Figure in Communist Yugoslavia

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The photographic series Tito/Tata and the accompanying essay examine the construction of the father figure in the public and private sphere in communist Yugoslavia. Through combined textual analysis of and artistic intervention on found documentary photographs of her own father as well as the country’s president, Josip Broz Tito, Paula Muhr explores the fictional potential of the purportedly neutral visual historical documents. She foregrounds the “optical unconscious” content of the documentary images, thus disclosing their role in the construction and the perpetuation of the country’s collective fantasy of the omnipotent yet benevolent patriarchal figure.

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