Issue cover
32: Reproduction tracks. New visibility

No. 32: Reproduction tracks. New visibility

Managing editors: Matylda Szewczyk, Marta Zimniak-Hałajko, Dorota Sosnowska

Svenja Kratz, SVKR-LM: Tumour Baby, 2020. Mixed media sculpture and video: Taxidermy butterflies and beetles, wood, bone, polymer clay, acrylic paint, ceramic, resin, polyurethane, faux and preserved moss, rocks, sand, teeth, human hair, video [5’ 40’’], Perspex dome, fixed primary human cells in cell culture flask. Installation view, Rosny Barn Gallery. Courtesy of the artist.

This issue was supported by the Film School in Łódź, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanisties, Warsaw.

Table of Contents


  1. Reproduction Tracks

    ”Reproduction Tracks”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    Introduction to the issue on the visuality and the politics of reproduction, particularly devoted to the reflections on various definitions of life, uses of technology and problems of identity (individual, social, sexual), as well as frameworks of parental involvement and care.

    keywords: reproduction; technology; visuality; care; responsibility; body


  1. Fear of Monsters, “Birth Defects” and Medical Imagery: Visualizing the Unborn

    Ilana Löwy, ”Fear of Monsters”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    The article examines the growing role of visualization technologies, and, in parallel, the limits of visualization: images are not context–free and do not "speak by themselves." From the antiquity on, scientists and laypeople alike had been fascinated by malformed fetuses and newborns, but the term “birth defect” was developed in the 19th century. Ever since doctors became interested in the prevention of “birth defects” produced by diseases or poor health during pregnancy. Until the 1960s, it was, however not possible to know whether such preventive steps were efficient before the child was born. The development of obstetrical ultrasound, and the parallel possibility of genetic analysis of fetal cells opened a possibility “to see what is going to be born”. The older term for the scientific discipline that investigated abnormal births “teratology” - the study of monstrosities - was replaced in the 1970s with the less scary term, “dysmorphology.” In late 20th century the science of abnormal development became inseparably linked with the rapid development of prenatal diagnosis and prenatal screening, and to changing attitudes to the unborn. The author analyses the above phenomena.

    keywords: featus; pregnancy; congenital malformation; technologies of visualisation; visualization; teratology

  2. Cinematic Forces of Nature. Reclaiming Reproduction as Female Experience

    Marta Stańczyk, ”Cinematic Forces of Nature”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    The issue of reproduction has always been both something fascinating (as the mode of transgression) and terrifying. Films as Artistic Creation (1901) by Walter Booth and avant-garde Window Water Baby Moving (1959) by Stan Brakhage are the perfect example of how reproductive narrative was regulated and taken away from women symbolically. The main goal of this article is to focus on reproductive motifs in cinema’s history (especially early cinema and American classical cinema) and contrast them with L’opéra-mouffe / Diary of a Pregnant Woman (1958) by Agnès Varda. I place this picture in the context of contemporary corporeal theories.

    keywords: reproduction; cinema; feminism; Agnès Varda; female experience

  3. Visuality of Reproductive Rights in Polish Feminist Zines After 1989

    Barbara Dynda, ”Visuality of Reproductive Rights in Polish Feminist Zines”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    The article is devoted to the visuality of the activism for the reproductive rights in Polish feminist and anarchofeminist zines from the late 1990s and 2000s. By analyzing independent women's publications found in anarchist cultural centers and in private collections of authors, the text examines the beginnings of producing and distributing pro-abortion zines in Poland. Through interviews with anarchofeminist publishers from this period, I focus on the visibility of the symbolism of reproductive rights (witch, uterus and cross themes) and the visual resistance strategies present in the zines (caricatures of solidarity-catholic power). The aim of the article is also to examine the changes and continuations of anarchofeminist visual traditions after 1989 in the context of the struggle for welfare over women's reproductive health.

    keywords: zine; feminism; feminist history; abortion; reproduction rights

  4. Images as a Resource of Polish Pro-Life Movements

    Marta Zimniak-Hałajko, ”Images as a Resource of Polish Pro-Life Movements”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    The text is devoted to the images used today by Polish pro-life (anti-abortion) movements and their interpretations by various social actors. The analysis focuses on the ways and frames of depiction, visual narratives and their relation to social practices. The anti-abortion visuals are divided into "hard" images of abortion and "soft" images of prenatal development and linked to various types of institutions and social actions. The author proposes a reflection on the power of particular types of images, understood as a measure of the strength of influence on the cognitive order and the order of social practices.

    keywords: pro-life; anti-abortion movements; images of abortion; ethics of care


  1. Trajectories of Care — an Autoethnographic Record

    Karolina Żyniewicz, ”Trajectories of Care — an Autoethnographic Record”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    Presentation of four projects by artist and researcher Karolina Żyniewicz, who defines her practice as situated knowledge production, taking up questions around the ethics of care, interspecies relationships, and the limits of subjectivity.

    keywords: ethics of care; bioart; critical art practice; liminal practice; art&science; motherhood; interspecies relationships

  2. The Posthumanist Reproduction of Care

    Agnieszka Jelewska, Karolina Żyniewicz, ”The Posthumanist Reproduction of Care”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    A conversation between scholar Agnieszka Jelewska and artist Karolina Żyniewicz around the topic of care in the latter's liminal practice of knowledge production.

    keywords: ethics of care; bioart; critical art practice; liminal practice; art&science; motherhood; interspecies relationships


  1. Posthuman Genetic Legacies: Rethinking (Im)mortality and the Limits of Reproduction Through Hybrid Bioart Practice

    Svenja Kratz, ”Posthuman Genetic Legacies”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    The article presents Posthuman Genetic Legacies a practice-based research project that investigates avenues of producing an alternative non-human and ongoing genetic legacy via biotechnological intervention. The project aims to establish cell lines (immortalised cells) from benign tumour (fibroid) tissue removed from the artist’s uterus following abdominal surgery in 2020. Rather than simply advocating for the uptake of biotechnological reproduction, the project aims to use this provocation to interrogate gender expectations and the desire for immortality via genetic continuance. It invites consideration on how a posthuman Xenofeminist positioning that disrupts biological norms and embraces the emancipatory and world-building potential of new technologies may offer an empowered conceptual space for rethinking the anguish of situational childlessness.

    keywords: posthumanism; biological art; interdisciplinary creative practice; alternative reproduction; biotechnology; practice-based research

  2. To Think the Unimaginable: Sarah Franklin in Conversation with Matylda Szewczyk, on Reproduction, Biology, Feminism, and Technology

    Matylda Szewczyk, Sarah Franklin , ”To Think the Unimaginable”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    Sarah Franklin in conversation with Matylda Szewczyk, on reproduction, biology, feminism, and technology.

    keywords: reproduction; biology; feminism; technology


  1. Non-heteronormative Reproductive Tactics in Poland

    Joanna Mizielińska, ”Non-heteronormative Reproductive Tactics in Poland”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    While in the West there is an increasing tendency to discuss reproductive normativity among non-heterosexual people, which is related to the legal recognition and protection of their parentage as well as the availability of choices, in Poland their possibilities of becoming parents are very limited. Pronatalist state policies regulating access to assisted reproductive techniques are selective, heteronormative and exclusive. It is enough to mention that the Act of the Infertility Treatment from 2015 establishes the possibility of using the services of infertility clinics in Poland only for heterosexual couples who are married or cohabit. Therefore, the law restricts same-sex couples who want to raise a child in their ways of implementing reproductive plans. When they are raising a child, they struggle with non-recognition of the nature of their own family, especially the bonds between the child and the co-parent remains completely unprotected. In the article, teh author aims to show how non-heterosexual people in Poland, despite these restrictions, become parents. What reproductive tactics do they choose? What legal loopholes are they exploiting? What factors influence their choice? The author refers to the results of the research project Families of Choice in Poland, which she directed.

    keywords: queer parenthood; queer reproduction; LGBTIQ families; repronormativity; non-heteronormative reprotactics

  2. The Phantasm of Motherhood - the Phantasm of the Middle Class

    Marta Kosińska, ”The Phantasm of Motherhood”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    The text deals with the subjective experience of motherhood by middle-class women and the normative-symbolic regulation of being a mother in the symbolic and media sphere. In-depth interviews based on the photo elicitation technique addressed issues related to the somatic, material and economic experience and memory of motherhood for mothers who reconcile caring practices and professional work. The situation of women is analysed in terms of their occupation of class positions, their location in a matrix of domination and subordination, their experience of the price and punishment of motherhood. The materiality of motherhood thus extracted is analysed in the context of the cultural phantasm of the Polish mother and the fetishistic notions of being a mother residing within its sphere.

    keywords: motherhood; fetishism; class analysis; class advancement of women; maintenance work; professional work; photo elicitation

  3. Presence. On Kafka's Images

    Monika Gromala, ”Presence. On Paintings in Kafka's Works”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    In the article, the author analyzes ways in which portraits function in the works of Franz Kafka, treating them as hauntological figures of the present "law". Reading novels and shorter prose, written by the Austrian writer, the author draws attention to the positions of power, the systematics of control attitudes, as well as the tendency of the images themselves to transformations and metamorphoses.

    keywords: Franz Kafka; Visual Culture; Literature and Art; Law


  1. Avant-Garde Museum

    Przemysław Strożek, ”Avant-Garde Museum”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    The review of the book Awangardowe Muzeum by Agnieszka Pindera i Jarosław Suchan (Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi, Łódź 2020).

    keywords: Avant-garde; Muzeum Sztuki; institutions

  2. Social Reproduction and Critiques of the Politics of Visibility in Contemporary Trans Studies

    J. Szpilka, ”Social Reproduction ”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    Review of the book Transgender Marxism, red. J. Gleeson, E. O’Rourke (Pluto Press, London 2021).

    keywords: transgender; Marxism; social reproduction; representation

  3. Written by the Hand Not of Victors But of Misfits

    Sylwia Borowska-Kazimiruk, ”Written by the Hand”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 32 (2022),

    Critical review of Sebastian Jagielski's Przerwane emancypacje. Polityka ekscesu w kinie polskim lat 1968–1982 [Interrupted Emancipations: The Politics of Excess in Polish Cinema 1968–1982] (Universitas, Kraków 2021). 

    keywords: cinema; emancipations; Andrzej Wajda; body; resistance