Keeping Time

Third Person (Plural): The Girls are Marching (2017-2020)

Third Person (Plural): The Girls are Marching, 2017-2020, 12 mins 41 secs, b&w, stereo sound

Third Person (Plural): The Girls are Marching is the fifth episode of the 8-part multi-screen installation and collage film Third Person (Plural) (2017-2020). The project is based on a collection of 160 Universal newsreels and 40 US government informational films produced between 1945 to 1957, a timeline that follows the early stages of the European integration process, from the Shuman Plan to the establishment of the common market. By centering the investigation on the post-World War II moment and the influence of United States foreign policy in the formation of a ‘United’ Europe, the projects explore how imagined communities of belonging are formed – and transformed – into national and supranational imaginations.

Placed halfway in the 8-part episodic structure of Third Person (Plural), The Girls are Marching takes its title from a USA army women recruitment commercial. The episode marks a shift away from the post-war narrative of European integration, focusing instead on the role of the camera in propagating western ideas of progress. Exploring the parallel development of new optic technologies and the testing of new weapons, the episode questions the emancipatory potential offered to women entering military and leadership roles.