• Activating media, memory and resistances: Where were you in 1992?

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2018-07-04)
      This paper will bring to the fore the resisting character of moving image materials situated as tactical and strategic, through their activation by archival and media practices. Where Were You in 1992? is a multi-platform time-based project that contends with the technologies and practices of activism. Starting from the anti-racist struggle in the UK and the resistance to ethno-nationalism in Yugoslavia, it explores the legacy of European 'liberalism', ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘social cohesion’. It contrasts these with notions of solidarity, anti-racism, and anti-authoritarianism. It gathers hitherto unseen or forgotten testimonies, still and moving images, minutes, leaflets, banners and working notes from individuals and organisations. The project uses the open source archive and notation platform pan.do/ra, and an archive established at the MayDay Rooms archive in London. The paper is concerned with how to mobilise audio-visual materials, testimony and metadata to investigate a global historical situation and map parallels between the social spaces of grassroots activism of the 1990s. Specifically the paper will focus on how specific moments of differing scale, such as the shift between analogue and digital (longue durée) on one hand, and the subjective description of political actions (historical events) on the other hand can be brought together in montage.
    • Between copyright and creativity: Edison’s kinetoscope and technological innovations in optical printing

      Egbe, Amanda (Oxford University Press, 2020-03-17)
      Focusing on Edison’s early cinematic apparatus and the optical printer, this chapter explores how copyright law intersects with creativity, providing an alternative to teleological accounts of moving-image technologies. Thomas Edison attempted to control the film industry through patents and copyright. Edison’s first film experiments were registered as a series of photographs on card by his assistant, W. L. Dickson. In protecting these contact copies as paper prints with copyright, the new medium of motion pictures was being formalized. The necessity to duplicate film to support the development of exhibition and distribution was also necessary for copyright purposes. An archaeological approach is utilized to explore how paper prints enabled innovation in the area of the optical printer, a primary form of duplication in cinema. In developing approaches that could bring to life the remaining examples of early cinema, novel solutions in the form of innovations were required. The overlapping concerns of the copyright clerk, the film entrepreneur, and the film historian thus provide a basis for new materials and new innovations in moving-image technology and film history.
    • Black and white: cinema, politics and the arts in Zimbabwe

      Piotrowska, Agnieszka (Routledge, 2016-10-04)
      In Black and White Agnieszka Piotrowska presents a unique insight into the contemporary arts scene in Zimbabwe – an area that has received very limited coverage in research and the media. The book combines theory with literature, film, politics and culture and takes a psychosocial and psychoanalytic perspective to achieve a truly interdisciplinary analysis. Piotrowska focuses in particular on the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) as well as the cinema, featuring the work of Rumbi Katedza and Joe Njagu. Her personal experience of time spent in Harare, working in collaborative relationships with Zimbabwean artists and filmmakers, informs the book throughout. It features examples of their creative work on the ground and examines the impact it has had on the community and the local media. Piotrowska uses her experiences to analyse concepts of trauma and post-colonialism in Zimbabwe and interrogates her position as a stranger there, questioning patriarchal notions of belonging and authority. Black and White also presents a different perspective on convergences in the work of Doris Lessing and iconic Zimbabwean writer Dambudzo Marechera, and how it might be relevant to contemporary race relations. Black and White will be intriguing reading for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and psychotherapeutically engaged scholars, film makers, academics and students of post-colonial studies, film studies, cultural studies, psychosocial studies and applied philosophy.
    • The Cinemembrane

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2016-05-02)
      I: Whither Cinema? At present the space for cinematic exhibition has been colonised as a space for entertainment and commercial enterprise, e.g. the loss of independent cinema spaces in the UK. It is utilised to aneasthetise a populace. There are and have been recent examples of radical exhibition and distribution that now call to be extended and constituted as a rapid response to an environment whereby moving image documents, the work of amateurs, citizens, artists must be exhibited, distributed and acted upon as a matter of urgency. These will be joined by materials from various community and specialist archives. II: What is the Cine-membrane? The cine-membrane is the reconstitution of cinematic space, which calls forth a standing committee. The committee constitutes a forum and tribunal to investigate evidence in the form of moving image documents and the experiences of those who form the committee. The cine-membrane becomes the active viewing space, for speech and action to be constituted in light of conscious and unconscious responses to moving images. These responses inspire action in light of subject matters such as the housing crisis, militarism, and social inequalities. They also extend to the call for further works to be produced, exhibited and examined in light of a lack of meaningful expression in the cinematic environment. The cine-membrane can be mobile, set up anywhere with the use of borrowed equipment. Inside or outside spaces can be cannibalised for the purpose of calling forth the standing committee. The cine-membrane can be fixed, reclaiming and repurposing cinematic and theatrical spaces that sit within a community or the heart of an action called for in light of the moving image documents that are to be considered by the standing committee. III: Permeable spaces The cine-membrane constitutes the fluid space in which moving image documents resonate amongst us. This space makes speech and action possible. It understands that moving images are constructed, that the process and production of that construction must form part of the active evidence that is presented. This is how we build an active understanding and knowledge of the processes by which the moving image comes to have meaning and is accepted as being significant. Content, production and exhibition cannot be separated into discrete entities. Social space, the spaces of cinematic production and distribution are all permeable and come to coexist in the cinemembrane.
    • The conman and I: a case study of transference in documentary

      Piotrowska, Agnieszka (Routledge, 2014-01-03)
      Despite the fact that psychoanalysis and cinema share the same birthday, as 1895 saw the publication of Sigmund Freud's Studies in Hysteria and the first public presentation of the moving image by the Lumière brothers, and the huge influence of Lacanian psychoanalysis on (fiction) film theory, little, if anything, has been written about the relationship between the documentary film-maker and the subject of his or her film in terms of unpacking that relationship in psychoanalytical terms. This article employs some psychoanalytical ideas in order to investigate that relationship, focusing in particular on transference. The article also includes a case study of the author's relationship with the subject of her film The Conman with 14 Wives, broadcast in the United Kingdom on Channel 5 in 2006.
    • The ethics and intimacies of moving images

      Egbe, Amanda (2016-11-07)
      Firstly consider a way of thinking about the relationships between images as constituted through a media archaeological approach.This archaeology provides a foundation to think about how moving images are duplicated/reproduced. That is it becomes a concern for how moving images constitute multiple modes of reality through the process of duplication, seen through the variable ways in which the optical printer has been utilised as an archival tool, a materialist instrument and tool of special effects. It then reflects upon Jakob von Uexkull’s notion of umwelt to consider an ecology of images, as a problematising practice to allow for the reading of moving images as both apparatus and content overcoming the dichotomy between technological and cultural readings of the moving image. This is done with recourse to Aby Warburg’s assemblage practice of the Mnemosyne Atlas project, but is not the subject of this paper. The paper further problematizes this notion of the relations of moving images as being an ethical relationship. By suggesting that notions of Levinas’s ethics in relation to this tentative practice of moving image archival practice, can illuminate how moving image practices, in their duplication can be perceived beyond their instrumentalising, in their aspect of technological apparatus, but rather as a co-constitution of filmmaker, apparatus and viewer constituting realities.
    • Femininity and psychoanalysis : cinema, culture, theory

      Piotrowska, Agnieszka; Tyrer, Ben (Routledge, 2019-06-11)
      For Freud, famously, the feminine was a dark continent, or a riddle without an answer. This understanding concerns man’s relationship to the question of ‘woman’ but femininity is also a matter of sexuality and gender and therefore of identity and experience. Drawing together leading academics, including film and literary scholars, clinicians and artists from diverse backgrounds, Femininity and Psychoanalysis: Cinema, Culture, Theory speaks to the continued relevance of psychoanalytic understanding in a social and political landscape where ideas of gender and sexuality are undergoing profound changes. This transdisciplinary collection crosses boundaries between clinical and psychological discourse and arts and humanities fields to approach the topic of femininity from a variety of psychoanalytic perspectives. From object relations, to Lacan, to queer theory, the essays here revisit and rethink the debates over what the feminine might be. The volume presents a major new work by leading feminist film scholar, Elizabeth Cowie, in which she presents a first intervention on the topic of film and the feminine for over 20 years, as well as a key essay by the prominent artist and psychoanalyst, Bracha Ettinger. Written by an international selection of contributors, this collection is an indispensable tool for film and literary scholars engaged with psychoanalysts and anybody interested in different approaches to the question of the feminine.
    • Film adaptation for knowing audiences: analysing fan on-line responses to the end of Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

      Pearce, Samantha; Weedon, Alexis; University of Bedfordshire (2017-11-30)
      Critics of film adaptations of literary works have historically evaluated the success or failure of the movie on the grounds of its fidelity to the original book. In contrast popular arguments for medium specificity have questioned whether fidelity is possible when adapting one medium to another. This article follows recent academic work which has focused awareness on the processes of adaptation by examining evidence of reading and viewing experience in online and social media forums.      The broader research project explored the online Twilight fan community as an example of a ‘knowing audience’ acquainted with both novel and film. Here we focus on the strong response within fan forums to the surprise ending of the final film adaptation Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012). The research uses the forum, blog and facebook page as sites for evidence of reading experience as defined by the Reading Experience Database (RED). The analysis sheds new light on the tensions that exist between fidelity and deviation and the article positions fan audiences as intensive readers who gained unexpected pleasure from a deviation from a canon. It argues that fans are also collaborators within the adaptation process who respect authorial authority and discuss the author’s, scriptwriter’s and director’s interpretation of the novel for the screen. The research identifies the creative and commercial advantages to be gained from a collaborative and open dialogue between adaptors and fans.  Keywords: Adaptation, fandom, online fan communities, Twilight, reading experience, film, audiences, fidelity, canon, collaboration, screenwriting, franchise, Stephenie Meyer, Melissa Rosenberg, Bill Condon
    • The horror of a doppelganger in documentary film

      Piotrowska, Agnieszka (Taylor & Francis, 2013-06-02)
      The paper applies Lacanian psychoanalysis to a well-known phenomenon in documentary practice, namely, that those who appear in films usually violently dislike their representation in the final film. Broadcasting organizations have sets of rules and regulations to deal with this ‘inconvenience’. I put forward a suggestion that the source of this anxiety lies in the notion of the double, which draws from Freud's ‘The Uncanny’ (1910) as recently developed by philosopher Mladen Dolar. I apply it to the process of documentary filmmaking. I give an example of the documentary The Best Job in the World (2009), which I directed for BBC1. In it, the participants were first invited to create their own short digital self-portraits with the material shot by us and edited later. I quote from their reports submitted in due course about their feelings about their portrayal in the film. The issue of control over one's representation seems of crucial importance. It appears that the arrival of ‘the double’, which the contributors had no control over created a sense of deep discomfort, even when that ‘double’ appeared more flattering that the contributors' perceptions of their own selves, suggesting more complicated unconscious processes.
    • Inception : a surrealist tale about lost love

      Piotrowska, Agnieszka (Media Commons, 2017-12-01)
      In the video essay we focus on the similarities between Inception (2010) and the surrealist classic Un Chien Andalou (1929) by Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel. In particular, it was the filmic language of unattainable desire, love and loss that we wanted to explore in visual terms[1].  Inception has been one of the most successful movies of the last ten years.  The film was a great commercial success but it has had a mixed critical reception. Mark Fisher in Film Quarterly (2011, n. 64. Vol.3), for example, rightly accused it of being, at least in part, a capitalist ‘commodification of the psyche’, both artistically and ideologically.
    • Listening, looking, acting: archiving resistance against racism and nationalism in the 1990’s, through online audio-visual materials

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2019-09-20)
      The concern of this paper is to reflect upon the movements of anti-racism and anti-nationalism that have been analysed through the moving-image based project Where Were You in 1992? ​ The paper outlines, through a series of case studies (of single screen works, an online archive and interactive moving image panels) between the UK and post/Yugoslavia, how an interdisciplinary framework can be developed to work with audio-visual archives to elaborate new knowledge through old materials. 
    • Mnemosyne moving image archive: ethics and assemblage as a radical archival practice

      Egbe, Amanda (2016-05-20)
      This paper stems from the concern for the relationship between the viewer, the film, and the filmmaker. It is an inquiry looking at how the moving image allows us to create an experience of the world. It is with the awareness that this experience has cultural and political implications, particularly when understood in terms of what is held in film archives, museums and collections. It is concerned with interventionist practices, that may bring to the fore what it is that constitutes the making and viewing of film and how through archival film practices film histories are constituted. The Mnemosyne Moving Image Archive utilises the approach of Warburg's Mnemosyne Atlas, one model in a number of strategies that attempt, through its techniques of assemblage, comparison and disjuncture, to read the image contextually in multiple aspects. Warburg's approach is recast here to take images and sequences from moving image works to read across traditional film studies categories to (reading) the moving image, as form, auteur, spectator, nation etc. to assert the potential relations between the works in order to recover histories, alternative modes of meaning making, and creative and cultural practices.
    • The nasty woman and the neo femme fatale in contemporary cinema

      Piotrowska, Agnieszka (Routledge, 2018-11-20)
      The Nasty Woman and the Neo Femme Fatale in Contemporary Cinema puts forward the theoretical notion of the ‘nasty woman’ as a means of examining female protagonists in contemporary culture and cinema, particularly films directed by women. The phrase is taken from an insult thrown at Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Presidential election debates and reclaimed by the feminists worldwide. The volume also draws from the figure of the femme fatale in film noir. Piotrowska presents ‘the nasty woman’ across cultural and mythical landscape as a figure fighting against the entitlement of the patriarchy. The writer argues that in films such as Zero Dark Thirty, Red Road, Stories We Tell, and even Gone Girl the ‘nastiness’ of female characters creates a new space for reflection on contemporary society and its struggles against patriarchal systems. The nasty woman or neo femme fatale is a figure who disrupts stable situations and norms; she is pro-active and self-determining, and at times unafraid to use dubious means to achieve her goals. She is often single, but when married she subverts and undermines the fundamental principles of this patriarchal institution. For students and researchers in Cultural Studies, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Film Studies and Psychoanalysis in Film Studies, The Nasty Woman and the Neo Femme Fatale in Contemporary Cinema offers an original way of thinking about female creativity and subjectivity. It is also a proud celebration of feminist and female authorship in contemporary Hollywood.
    • Replacement and reparation in Sarah Polley’s Stories we tell

      Piotrowska, Agnieszka (Springer International Publishing, 2018-06-06)
      The question of the ethics of a documentary film has been debated for decades, with the work of Emmanuel Levinas gaining a particular currency lately. My own contribution to this debate focused on the relationship between the filmmaker and the subject of her film – a process that under certain circumstances could evoke a deep bond between the filmmaker and her subjects, and which I claim is similar to a mechanism which clinical psychoanalysis calls ‘transference’. This chapter looks at Stories We Tell (Polley 2012) and examines it as a site of reparation. I also investigate the notion of obsolete technology and fake archive as pivotal in Polley’s project, which I see as a way of a reclaiming the lost agency of the filmmaker’s mother vis-à-vis the patriarchal systems that she inhabited.
    • Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope and the campaign to control the film industry

      Egbe, Amanda; Op den Kamp, C. (2016-07-22)
      This paper is concerned with the cultural implications of legal decisions around the invention and patenting of projection technologies. In the early 1900s Thomas Edison won a patent suit against his main competitor Biograph, a decision that stunned the industry, because Biograph seemed to be in the best position to oppose Edison’s dominance. The technical innovator behind Biograph’s technology, W.K.L. Dickson, had originally developed Edison’s own motion picture technology, the Kinetograph and Kinetoscope. If anyone understood how to avoid infringing Edison’s patents, it was Dickson. With a focus on Edison v Biograph and Edison v Lubin, this paper will highlight the surprising shift in intellectual property regimes from patent to copyright that followed. As a counterfactual exercise, this paper will play with the idea of what cinema today would have looked like if Edison’s campaign to control the film industry by controlling the technology would have succeeded. What difference would it have made if films would have been protected under the patent regime as part of the hardware (based on the assumption that projection was an integral element of the film), as opposed to under copyright as part of the software, as they did? And how does that help us understand the role of projection within the history of cinema?
    • Viewing, listening and waiting: explorations of the visual representations of anti-racism, anti-war and anti-nationalist protest

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2019-07-05)
      This presentation further explores the artistic frameworks developed in the project Where Were You in 1992? The project explores anti-racism, anti-fascism,anti war and anti-nationalist political action, beginning with the struggles of antifascism and racism in the UK to anti war and nationalism in Yugoslavia. The project through recourse to media strategies of montage from art historian Aby Warburg, through to artist, filmmaker Jean Luc Goddard, brings audio-visual content together with personal testimony to map the strategies of media activism in the 90’s. The presentation seeks to engage with activists at IIPPE to investigate the media archive of Where Were You in 1992? to explore notions and gestures of “waiting” that permeate political action, connecting their own experiences of activism with those in the archive.
    • Where were you in 1992? : rumours of war

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2018-04-28)
      Singe Screen Short Film, 15mins
    • Where were you in 1992?: fighting racism, fascism and nationalism, activism in the 90s

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2019-02-08)
      Presentation and screening of Where Were You in 1992?: Rumours of War to the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Birmingham City University
    • Where were you in 1992?: surveillance - monitoring

      Egbe, Amanda; Novakovic, Rastko (2019-07-03)
      Singe Screen Short Film, 10 mins