Picking up the Pieces: Archive Film and the Unseen Past

Conference paper


Bosward, M. 2022. Picking up the Pieces: Archive Film and the Unseen Past . Shadow screens: unmade, unseen, unreleased film and television. Sheffield Hallam University .
AuthorsBosward, M.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

The debate addressing the status of archive footage filmmaking has interrogated its use as a method for engaging with and negotiating the past (Russell, 2018; Zryd, 2003; Anderson, 2011; Baron, 2013). This has focused on the capacity of critical practice to reveal previously marginalized, hidden aspects of history. Through collage and montage strategies, filmmakers have deployed footage as evidence of historical events, whilst also creatively mediating the material in the construction of alternate narratives. Under these conditions, the photographic index remains stable, but the iconic and connotative levels work towards different or opposite political ends. Strategies of defamiliarization interrupt the original intention of the footage to rework the ideological biases it contains. In this way, recorded history is reconfigured in new forms that acknowledge the impossibility of absolute, unitary accounts.
Within this context, the paper will present a reflection on film practice made using materials from the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales. The work is concerned with the conflicted formation of regional and class identities, and sees the archive as the site of a troubled and painful past. The paper will argue that through the layered language offered by collage, the flat, static ontology of empirical history can be challenged. This is a process by which the complexities of history can be worked through, and a better understanding of the contingency of the past can be achieved.

KeywordsCollage; History; Archive Film
Year2022
ConferenceShadow screens: unmade, unseen, unreleased film and television
PublisherSheffield Hallam University
Web address (URL)https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/culture-and-creativity-research-institute-at-shu-31844547295
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/unmade-tickets-298107285917
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
OnlineMay 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited22 Sep 2022
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/98xx1/-picking-up-the-pieces-archive-film-and-the-unseen-past

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