How to make it in the military.  Coco Fusco’s “A Field Guide for Female Interrogators.”

Similar to how 19th century female spies challenged American perceptions of women’s ability to serve in military capacities during the Civil War, the images of Lynndie England’s atrocious acts at Abu Ghraib forced America to face its gendered prejudices and reconcile women’s role in the military. Artist and writer Coco Fusco’s provocative book, A Field Guide for Female Interrogatorsexplores the ways that the US military has capitalized on the growing presence of women in its ranks.

Looking critically at the role performance plays in an interrogation room, Fusco explores the ways in which women are trained to wield power against an enemy POW. The image above comes from an illustrated manual in which Fusco hypothesizes the ways in which women’s sexuality can be strategically used in the interrogation room. 

Contributed by WCAA research & design intern, Molly Murphy