The living body – trace and microarchive


 (The Case Of Dorina Ilieva-Simpson)

In(post)colonial Mauritius Dorina Ilieva-Simpson (1925–1991) struggles to lay the foundations of another charity aimed at the excluded others (‘superfluous and abject’ in their disabled bodies). Precisely Dorina – viewed as the daughter of the allegedly “fascist writer Nencho Iliev” (in swiftly overtaken by the communist regime Bulgaria), and recognized as the “frivolous and indifferent” Nencho’s daughter (in an agonizing bourgeois Sofia), just she – unaccepted, as a ‘bloody foreigner’, in the white British colonial wives’ society – is the one who fights to change the lives of the ones who are “doomed to a humiliating death” (in that unbearable iciness: a body-not-mine, physically scarred and socially stigmatized). Starting from the fact (‘behind which thousands motives can stand) of an empowering utopian female ideal, this text tries to outline the historicity of an other female subjectivation, generated in the attempt to survive the female class social suffering: the disinheritance of the bourgeois female heir in the public and in the private after the disempowerment of the symbolic efficiency of ‘the name of the father’, and the de-valorisation of her bourgeois legacy. Revealing those nodes of painful female life experience in which perspective the world in its negative present (‘violence and fear’, ‘hypocrisy and non-compassion’, ‘jealousy and social hatred’) becomes visible for Dorina, this text has become an essay of an other female social loneliness (in, as it were, that body-not-mine, the hostage-of-other), in order to outline the social and cultural efficiency of an other social female economy (faith and compassion). Hence it aims at disclosing the other historical witnesses, truths, facts and archives – those of the excluded others – in whose optics the familiar historical past is ‘distorted’ into its unknown other.

Snezhana Dimitrova

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