Old Borders, New Technologies
Reframing Film and Visual Culture in Contemporary Northern Ireland
This book presents four thematic studies revolving around the issues of imprisonment, surveillance, traumatic recall and myth-making in Northern Ireland. These studies examine the different ways in which artists and filmmakers are experimenting with film aesthetics and new media technologies to represent, re-present and invite engagement with the underlying anxieties that continue to trouble post-Agreement society. In doing so, the author argues for a reassessment of the critical analysis of film’s convergence with other forms of visual art. Ultimately, the volume assesses the usefulness of such an approach in examining how artists and filmmakers experiment with diverse forms that open up space for discussion of the hidden and marginalized concerns in Northern Ireland’s new, ‘shared’ society.
This book was the winner of the 2012 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in Film Studies.
Table Of Contents
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- List of Figures
- List of Abbreviations
- Introduction: Converging Boundaries
- Film and visual culture in contemporary Northern Ireland
- Contextualizing the conf lict
- More than murals
- The roles of artists and filmmakers in post-Agreement Northern Ireland
- Expanding notions of cinema
- Research themes
- Chapter 1 - Prison Images: Film, Video and Site-Specific Storytelling
- Inside stories
- Hidden struggles
- Fictionalizing the Armagh protests
- Reframing Shakespeare: Revenge tragedy behind bars
- Uncertain futures
- Chapter 2 - Control Zone: Power and the Simulation of the Real
- Security and social surveillance
- Surveillance in participatory art
- Surveillance art in Northern Ireland:Assimilation of the gaze and merging identities
- Power and knowledge: The British army in Northern Ireland
- Chapter 3 - The Mediated Past-Present: Memory and Live/Non-Live Images
- Towards mixed media, where live art meets non-live art
- Absence, presence and violent ‘akshuns’
- Troubled women, mediated memories
- Trauma as allegory
- Chapter 4 - Icons of the North: Myth-Making and Mediatization
- History in the making
- Ghosts of the past
- Myth-making and the television archive
- Postscript: The rejection of forgetting
- Conclusion: What You Can’t See
- Print materials
- Visual and audio materials
← viii | ix → Figures
Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders and to obtain their permission for the use of copyright material. We apologize for any errors or omissions in the above list and would be grateful for notification of any corrections that should be incorporated in future reprints or editions of this book. ← xi | xii →
← xii | xiii → Preface
The convergence of film and visual art practices in contemporary Northern Ireland reflects its complex network of contested spaces: its visual culture is being radically re-shaped in the wake of the Troubles and is increasingly open to globally employed artistic influences and methods. These factors challenge the expressive and social capability of traditional filmic practices to engage with the complexities of a post-conflict society such as imprisonment, testimony, social control, changing landscapes, memory and trauma.
Filmmakers using more traditional modes of storytelling tend to gloss over the deeper psychological concerns emerging in society in favour of narrative and dramatic formulas. This book presents an expanded perception of moving image production in order to consult work showing in alternative spaces of reception using experimental approaches that endeavour to engage more effectively with the social complexities of the Northern Irish context. The research hybridizes the language of (Irish) film theory with those of ‘new media’, ‘expanded cinema’ and ‘digital arts’– categories of converging art forms that are becoming increasingly institutionalized – and explores questions such as the following: how successful are these film and visual artworks in subverting the ideology of mass media representations of the conflict? Do such works effectively disrupt canon formation within the context of contemporary Northern Irish film and visual art? Does a broader context for Northern Irish film and visual culture allow for greater inclusion of women artists?
In addressing such questions, the project is structured around four conflict-related themes of imprisonment, surveillance, traumatic recall and storytelling. Through this thematic approach that draws on global shifts in film and visual arts practices, the project aims to move towards a discussion of the notion that the Troubles was a mediatized conflict. In doing so, it presents an argument for compiling a history of the conflict as a media-managed construct that has led to very real suffering, the legacy ← xiii | xiv → of which must be addressed through alternative modes of media and performance related education.
This text does not claim to be comprehensive, but rather attempts to be part of a larger conversation concerning film and visual cultures in post-conflict societies more generally.
← xiv | xv → Acknowledgements
The initial PhD project which formed the basis of this book would not have been possible without Programme for Government funding from the Department of Education and Learning, Northern Ireland. A great deal of thanks goes to Des O’Rawe, my PhD supervisor, whose belief in me as a researcher and a teacher continues to be a great source of inspiration. I am thoroughly grateful for the guidance, support, encouragement and advice he has given me throughout my postgraduate studies, and since.
For their consistent support, keeping me alive, and for putting up with me in general, I wish to thank my mum Ann and sister Ruth. They have been a much needed source of grounding, comfort and laughter during this challenging journey.
I would like to thank the staff and students of the department of Film Studies, the School of Creative Arts, and the former School of Languages, Literatures and Performing Arts at Queen’s University Belfast. For their consistent support I would particularly like to thank Gary Rhodes and Cahal McLaughlin who have always offered a great deal of support to me as well as the project. It has been my great pleasure to teach Film Studies at Queen’s as both a teaching assistant and a fixed-term lecturer, the knowledge from which has helped immeasurably in formulating my analyses throughout this book. While completing the project in autumn 2013, I had the good fortune of coordinating two second-year BA modules on Documentary Film and Cinema and Modernism, and an MA module on Film Aesthetics, and the students’ enthusiasm and engagement were a much needed source of joy and energy.
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- ISBN (PDF)
- ISBN (ePUB)
- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Softcover)
- Publication date
- 2014 (April)
- uncertainty imprisonment traumatic recall myth-making surveillance
- Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2014. 281 pp., 30 b/w ill.