OSA Archivum in collaboration with OSI-HESP Regional Seminar for Excellence in Teaching "Alternative Culture Beyond Borders: Past and Present of the Arts and Media in the Context of Globalization" announces call for papers for the workshop "Alternative Images: Documentary as Counter-Culture" to be held 8-9 November 2007 at OSA Archivum (Arany János 32, Budapest, Hungary). Deadline for submission is September 30, 2007.
On-going technological developments, crowned by the digital revolution, have been continuously transforming the making of documentary films. Lighter, cheaper, and easier to handle equipment has gradually made filmmaking accessible to broader and broader circles interested in the creation of moving images. Aimed at catching life "as it is," documentary filmmaking has been continuously paralleled and supplemented by the desire to go beyond the representational surface, to change the world, to uncover deeper structures with the help of montage or added commentary. From the emergence of documentary cinema, artistic groups and individuals have challenged dominant ways of seeing – from the avant-garde movements of the 1920s (with such figures as Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Walter Ruttmann, Alberto Cavalcanti, and Dziga Vertov), the political counter-culture cinema of the 1950-60s (which includes such figures as Chris Marker, Stan Brakhage, Alexander Kluge) and amateur filmmakers whose works preserved alternative layers of culture. Working in conditions of state control over filmmaking, directors in Eastern Europe and today in other parts of the world learned not only to portray the realities of the contemporary regimes, but simultaneously subverted them (as was done by those working at the BBS studio in Hungary in the 1960-80s, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Soviet Union, and today in Iran and China, for example).
Workshop participants will concentrate on the complex relationship of the "official" and "unofficial" in documentary filmmaking, both in terms of artistic alternatives to commercial production and as politically subversive narrative. They will also discuss alternatives to established national cinematographies and international distribution channels, as well as consider the extensive history of "alternative documentaries" from the 1920s through to the present. The workshop will also explore new trends in documentary filmmaking and the transformations caused by the emergence of new visual media. It will further include exploration of the interaction of documentary with other media, photography, radio, and performing arts. Participants are invited to present case-studies and contribute to discussions on both the contemporary media of the global era as well as on "counter-culture" documentaries throughout the 20th century, when visual imagery subverted and challenged mainstream narratives. The growing use of documentary cinema in teaching opens up additional topics for discussion. The workshop will address alternative representational strategies, the construction of the authenticity effect, the (de)construction of ideological narratives, and modalities of appropriating and subverting mainstream cultural references.
Organizers: Oksana Sarkisova; Olga Zaslavskaya
The workshop is open to film and media scholars, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, practicing filmmakers, and anyone interested in the development of contemporary media and alternative culture. Please submit your presentation abstract (500-1,000 words) and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Participants from the former Soviet Union are encouraged to apply for CRC program Alternative Culture: New Developments in Teaching and Research More information: http://www.ceu.hu/crc/crc_visit_upc.html
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