The digital turn, which has created new modes of access and circulation for films, underscores and amplifies what has been the fate of non-fiction film since the beginning of its existence – it has always been, and continues to be, a migrating archive of reality. Driven by the mass digitization of cultural heritage and possibilities of content sharing platforms and new streaming services, which enable non-fiction film content to constantly migrate across venues, platforms, but also cultures, geopolitical barriers, artworks etc., these movements are intensified in the digital media ecology.
The conference “Migrating Archives of Reality: Programming, Curating, and Appropriation of Non-fiction Film” represents an important part of a large international research project “Visual Culture of Trauma, Obliteration, and Reconstruction in Post WWII Europe” funded by HERA into which researchers with background in film history, critical theory and visual studies are involved coming from the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Italy. Various research activities developed around this project, which included e.g. an international teaching, a collective volume writing or curating of an online exhibition that will be released in May 2022 at the European Film Gateway portal, approach and examine the early postwar non-fiction cinema produced between 1945–1956 as an active social agent that significantly contributed into how the post-WWII public sphere had been shaped and represented.
Even though looking to the past, the presence and the importance of contemporary social, economical, political and geographical frames in interpretation of visual archives of the past are acknowledged. In the same way, a shifting formation of an infrastructure of distribution and circulation of these archives is seen as a key game changer transforming our understanding to our own past. The emergence of these two aspects in the research, curation and interpretation of the visual sources of the past, has lead to inviting researchers, media analysts, historians and artists to contribute to the conference programme, whose outcome is presented in an online form and hopes to enrich a dynamically developing field of critical visual history and the intersection of political and social history with film studies.
The entire conference programme, including discussions, is held in English.
Conference Steering Committee: Rossella Catanese, Lucie Česálková, Vinzenz Hediger, Francesco Pitassio, Andrea Průchová Hrůzová (victor-e.eu)
Conference Organisers: Lucie Česálková, Andrea Průchová Hrůzová (Institute of Contemporary History, CAS)
Production Team: Jana Ptáčková, Pavla Rousková, Jan Mucska (www), Jan Matoušek (graphic design), Šimon Bauer