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Keyword: Feminism | The DV Gaze before the Age of the Selfie: On Yang Mingming’s Female Directors (2012) 

Zoe Meng JIANG; Translator: FAN Xiang


It is debatable if women making sexualized images of women – either themselves or others – is deflecting or perpetuating the male gaze. Does it matter whether sexualized images of women are made by a man or a woman? It certainly does, as proved by Yang Mingming’s Female Directors, made right before the rise of Instagram selfies and YouTube vloggers. Simultaneously writing, filming, and performing this mockumentary, Yang both reenacts and subverts the sexual power dynamics deeply embedded in the act of filming. Specifically, she creates a dual authorship of filmmaking by constantly turning over the lightweight and portable digital video camera in between the perspective of two women in conflicts. This article sees Yang’s DV camera not as the objective lens revealing realities but as a means through which women, with an acute sense of what they are up against, are experimenting, activating, and moulding their own truth about friendship and emancipation.