International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Breast Cancer Advocacy, Autopathography and Artistic Nude Representation
Kwame Opoku-Bonsu, Emmanuel Eyram Donkor, Felix Annor Anim

This paper analyses a work of art from an unpublished undergraduate thesis project, “In the Absence of Strength”, by the artist Rufina Boateng, a 2013 Miss Ghana finalist and Breast Cancer survivor and advocate. It attempts a review of her artistic effort for the work within feminist literature and methodologies, and as gendered people, reviews our identity formations. The project contests institutional objectification of, and demands on the female body schema within breast cancer activism and advocacy. It critically analyses methodologies of selfreplication and fictional procedures in life casting employed in the project, and conclude that, the artist’s status (breast cancer victim/victor), her morphology, and artistic intents begins a pathographical exploration that seeks to undermine cultural institutions and the self she is projecting. It does so to contradict conventional female representation in art with abjection by similar format and strategy, and to emancipate the autonomous female identity, thereby initiating such discourse in Ghanaian art practices.

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