Justification of panopticon in superhero movies: The Batman Movie


  • Azime Cantaş image/svg+xml Afyon Kocatepe University

    Dr. Azime Cantaş graduated from Selçuk University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Art History in 2007. She then completed her undergraduate and graduate programs in the Faculty of Communication, Radio, Television and Cinema. She completed her doctoral program with her thesis titled "Minor Projections in Turkish Cinema" at Selcuk University, Institute of Social Sciences, Radio, Television and Cinema Department. While she was a student, she participated in various national and international film festivals with her work on the documentary “Hürriyet Mimarı” and the short film “Guernica”, which she directed. She works as an academician at Afyon Kocatepe University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Cinema and Television Department.

  • Aytekin Can image/svg+xml Selçuk University

    Dr. Aytekin Can was born in Eskişehir in 1965. Graduated from Marmara University, Faculty of Communication, Department of Radio-Television and Cinema. She completed her master's degree in the field of Cinema and Television at Anadolu University, Faculty of Communication Sciences. He completed his doctoral studies at Marmara University, Department of Cinema and Television. Head of Department of Radio, Television and Cinema, Faculty of Communication, Selcuk University. He is the author of chapters in his books Children and Cartoons, Short-Films, as well as Writings on Documentary Film and Cinema Illuminating History. He has acted as a production-management consultant for many award-winning documentaries and short films. He has been the director of the Kısa-ca International Student Film Festival for nineteen years. He is the founder and consultant of Selçuk University Kısa-ca Film Atölyesi, which has many national and international successes. With the support of the General Directorate of Cinema, he undertook the production and management of the documentary films Visitor Gertrude Bell from Oxford and Old Konya Cinemas.




panopticon, power, surveillance, space, cinema


The French Philosopher Michel Foucault argues that power extends to all areas at the micro level in Bentham's Panopticon theory, which was inspired by the architectural design of the Panopticon. He extends this metaphor to speak of Panoptisism as a social phenomenon used to discipline workforces through implicit strategies. Like Bentham, he does not limit his panoptic rhetoric to a mere prison setting, but instead applies it to schools, mental hospitals, hospitals and factories. The panopticon basically ensures the ubiquity of power by seeing it unseen. This article aims to reveal how panoptiism, a particular mode of disciplinary power used by Foucault, is normalized in superhero films. When surveillance and gaze practices are approached from the point of view of cinema; the question of how the gaze is positioned through the camera, where and through whose eyes the audience is looking, arises. The narrator of The Batman (2022) is Batman, and the narrative begins with the superhero reading his diary. In the film, it is determined that Gotham city has been transformed into a panoptic universe and Batman, who watches over this universe, is in the position of a guard.


Metrics Loading ...


  • Akay, A. (2000). Foucault'ta İktidar ve Direnme Odakları . İstanbul: Bağlam Yayınları.
  • Bauman, Z. (1999). Küreselleşme. İstanbul: Ayrıntı Yayınları.
  • Bauman, Z., & Lyon, D. (2013). Akışkan Gözetim. (E. Yılmaz, Çev.) İstanbul: Ayrıntı Yayınları.
  • Bentham, J., & vd. (2016). Panoptikon: Gözün İktidarı. (B. Çoban, Z. Özarslan, Dü, B. Çoban, & Z. Özarslan , Çev.) İstanbul: Su.
  • Božoviĉ, M. (1995). Jeremy Bentham: The Panopticon Writings. London: Verso.
  • Cardozo, E. (2017). Panoptic Pranksters: Power, Space and Visibility in the Information Panopticon in Scare Campaign. CINEJ Cinema Journal, 6(2). doi:DOI 10.5195/cinej.2017.174
  • Çoban, B. (2016). “Gözün İktidarı” Üzerine. B. Çoban, & Z. Özarslan (Dü) içinde, Panoptikon: Gözün İktidarı (B. Çoban, & Z. Özarslan , Çev., s. 111- 138). İstanbul: Su.
  • Deleuze, G. (1990, May). “Postscript on the Society of Control”. L'Autre journal, 3(1), 3-7.
  • Dunford, L. ( 2022, July 16). https://brightlightsfilm.com/. September 1, 2022, tarihinde Bright Lights Film Journal: https://brightlightsfilm.com/the-batman-the-grand-appeaser-repressive-desublimation-foucault-and-false-hope/#.YyUH2XZBxPZ adresinden alındı
  • Foucault, M. (1992). Hapishanenin Doğuşu. (M. A. KILIÇBAY, Çev.) Ankara: İmge Kitabevi.
  • Foucault, M. (2011). Büyük Kapatılma. (I. Ergüden, & F. Keskin, Çev.) İstanbul: Ayrıntı Yayınları.
  • Foucault, M. (2012). İktidarın Gözü. (I. Ergüden, Çev.) İstanbul: Ayrıntı Yayınları.
  • Foucault, M., Maniglier, P., & Zabunyan, D. (2018). Foucault at the Movies. C. O’Farrell (Dü.) içinde, Foucault at the Movies (C. O’Farrell, Çev.). New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Gehring, P. (2017, August). The Inverted Eye. Panopticon and Panopticism, Revisited. Foucault Studies (23), 46-62. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.22439/fs.v0i0.5341
  • Hassler- Forest, D. (2011). Superheroes and the Bush doctrine: narrative and politics in post-9/11 discourse. Eigen Beheer.
  • Lyon, D. (2006). Gözetlenen Toplum Günlük Hayatı Kontrol Etmek. (G. Soykan, Çev.) İstanbul: Kalkadeon.
  • Mirzoeff, N. (2009). An Introduction to Visual Culture. New York: Routledge.
  • Mitchell, T. (1988). Colonizing Egypt. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
  • Nietzsche, F. (2013). Ahlakın Soykütüğü Üstüne. (A. İnam, Çev.) İstanbul: Say Yayınları.
  • Öztürk, S. (2013). Filmlerle Görünürlüğün Dönüşümü: Panoptikon, Süperpanoptikon, Sinoptikon. İletişim Kuram ve Araştırma Dergisi(36), 132 - 151.
  • Sheridan, C. (2016). "Foucault, Power and the Modern Panopticon" Senior Theses. Trinity College Digital Repository: Trinity College Digital Repository, https://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/548 adresinden alındı
  • Stanley, D. (2019). The Dissolving Panopticon: Surveillance Culture and Liquid Modernity in Spider-Man Media. Panic at the Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 1(1), 91-104.
  • Zizek, S. (2006). Zizek, S. (2006). Biri Totalitarizm mi Dedi. Ankara: Epos Yayınları, 288. Ankara: Epos Yayınları.




How to Cite

Cantaş, A., & Can, A. (2022). Justification of panopticon in superhero movies: The Batman Movie. Journal of Design for Resilience in Architecture and Planning, 3((Special Issue), 122–135. https://doi.org/10.47818/DRArch.2022.v3si076



Cinema and Architecture