Rarely has a debut publication been of such high quality that it has induced such strong desires to join the club itself. I am Dora is a “publication, online visual story and a series of film screenings that explore how women’s perceptions of themselves are affected by female characters in film.” It’s based loosely on an element of Sigmund Freud’s first case history with a young girl named Dora – about whom a film, Sigmund Freud’s Dora: A Case of Mistaken Identity was made in 1979 – who never finishes her course of treatment and whose characteristics are used as evidence by feminist writers as “evidence of psycoanalysis wielding an assumed mastery over the female psyche, and her exit from her analysis has been interpreted variously; recasting her as either a victim, or a revolutionary.”
The publication, lovingly created by designer Claire Huss is a double-take inducing piece of astonishingly well-thought-out design. Made up of fragments of different sized pieces of peach-toned card, and held together with one rather sturdy brass bolt, Claire took inspiration from “the fragmentary nature of both films and the story of Dora herself – their interplay between real and imagined, seen and unseen, said and unsaid – the publication results from a very intuitive process of compiling fragments of writings and images into a nonlinear narrative that depict the identification with the character of Dora.”
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