Looking back…Abouna…Scolding…Mona Lisa…

I was re-reading Fanon yesterday and thought to add this thought to my previous post about Abouna:

When we look at something, it immediately becomes an object, both literally and grammatically. As subjects, we can pass judgment on or criticize the objects of our gaze, and not expect them to reply. We say “That table is black”, and we do not expect it to change its colour because we have already proclaimed it to be black. We say “That boy is stupid” and we do not expect him to walk up to us and tell us that he is not, because in looking at him and judging him, we now hold a certain power over him, the power somewhat similar to the type of power that a hypnotist has over his patient. Our gazing upon another object forces the object to act a certain way: that way usually being the way we have declared them to be or some other way that restricts what he can do as compared to what he would do if we were not looking.

However, what happens when the object looks back? As Angela noted in class, we felt a discomfort when Amine’s father looks directly back at us in Abouna’s opening scene. That discomfort comes from the fact that our object has now looked back, and in a sense, has now Continue reading