From Acting to Action: Delphine Seyrig, Les Insoumuses, and Feminist Video in 1970s France


  • Giovanna Zapperi Université de Tours



Mostly known as one of the leading actresses in 1960s-1970s French cinema, Delphine Seyrig was also a media and a feminist activist working collaboratively within the framework of the women’s liberation movement. This article proposes to tackle Seyrig’s involvement in feminist video production the 1970s and explores the continuum she inhabited, from the auteur cinema in which she was actress and muse, to the disobedient practices in which she was video maker, actress and activist. Seyrig’s meditation on her work as an actress, as well as on the patriarchal structures sustaining the film industry, strongly resonates with recent debates prompted by the #metoo movement.

Author Biography

Giovanna Zapperi, Université de Tours

Giovanna Zapperi is Professor of contemporary art history at the University of Geneva. She is the author of three books: L’artiste est une femme. La modernité de Marcel Duchamp [The Artist is a Woman. Marcel Duchamp’s Modernity], Presses Universitaires de France 2012; with Alessandra Gribaldo, Lo schermo del potere. Femminismo e regime della visibilità [The Screen of Power. Feminism and the Regime of Visibility], Ombre Corte 2012, and Carla Lonzi. Un’arte della vita [Carla Lonzi: An Art of Life], Rome, Derive Approdi 2017. Together with Francesco Ventrella, she has recently edited the book Art and Feminism in Postwar Italy. The Legacy of Carla Lonzi (London, Bloomsbury 2021). With Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez she has curated the exhibition “Defiant Muses. Delphine Seyrig and Feminist Video Collectives in France, 1970s-1980s” (Madrid, Museo Reina Sofia, 2019-2020).




How to Cite

Zapperi, G. (2022). From Acting to Action: Delphine Seyrig, Les Insoumuses, and Feminist Video in 1970s France. Konturen, 12, 24–46.