- Diese Veranstaltung hat bereits stattgefunden.
Visible Evidence Virtual Event “Documentary and Democracy in Crisis”
Freitag, 18. Dezember 2020, 18:30 bis 21:30
One of the most important events for the international documentary film scholars’ community, the Annual Visible Evidence Conference, was scheduled to be held in December 2020 at the Goethe University, Frankfurt. After the conference got postponed to late 2021 due to Covid-19 the organisers at the film studies department, Dr. Laliv Melamed and conference coordinator Florian Wessel and head of department and do-director of Visible Evidence Prof. Vinzenz Hediger decided to schedule a smaller three-day virtual event instead as a “teaser” to the actual conference.
The virtual event will open on Dec 16th with the panel „Who Can Judge? Jonathan Kahana, Hannah Arendt and the Theater of Justice“ in memory of Jonathan Kahana, one the most significant and innovative scholars in the field of documentary film and editor of the seminal volume The Documentary Film Reader: History, Theory, Criticism (2016). (More info at the bottom)
On December 17th, the annual Visible Evidence member’s meeting will be held online.
The third online event on December 18th is closely linked to research currently pursued at the Goethe University’s film studies department. It will be a joint presentation of the international research project “ViCTOR-E – Visual Culture of Trauma, Obliteration and Reconstruction in Post-WW II Europe” that is part of the HERA research programme “Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe”. Headed by the Goethe University with Prof. Vinzenz Hediger from the film studies department as project leader, it collaborates with the Universitie in Udine, Italy, the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic Czech Republic, and the Université Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne in France.
The project explores non-fiction films about the rebuilding of local, national and transnational communities across Europe in the period from 1945-1956. And investigates the question how audiovisual representations of public spaces – and particularly the documentation of war damage and of reconstruction efforts –, have shaped the politics, policies and polities of post-WW II Europe.
The Dec 18th presentation “Accessing the Visual Archives of Post War Europe: Trauma, Obliteration and Reconstruction“ adresses the major shift in the accessibility of the European (documentary) film heritage and the resulting challenges for archival research projects such as ViCTOR-E and gives a first inside into the research results of the project. (More info at the bottom)
All events will be held via Zoom. Please register for each individual event at email@example.com by Monday December 14th, 2020.
The virtual events
Who Can Judge? Jonathan Kahana, Hannah Arendt and the Theater of Justice
Visible Evidence in collaboration with World Records
December 16th, 2020, 18:30 CET / 12:30PM EST
A panel in memory of Jonathan Kahana on the occasion of the publication of his essay “Arendt in Jerusalem: Documentary, Theatricality, and the Echo of Irony,” published in World Records, Volume 4.
“It seems obvious,” Arendt wrote in her 1961 report Eichmann in Jerusalem, “that if presence were required for judgment, neither the administration of justice nor the writing of history would ever be possible.” Taken to an extreme, Kahana argued, what appeared obvious to Arendt would in fact make much of contemporary documentary impossible, for documentary theory and practice frequently turns to the truth-value of embodied observation for both its historical function and its ethical effects.
Arendt wrote this line at the same moment that the documentary question of subjectivity entered the audio-visual field, in the forms of cinéma vérité and direct cinema, becoming the dominant realm of scholarly and critical thinking about documentary in the decades to follow. This panel takes up Kahana’s essay in order to explore a theoretical route less traveled, considering Arendt’s admonishment on how not to link social justice to the embodied witness.
The discussion will revolve around the writings of Hannah Arendt and Jonathan Kahana and what they bring to bear on documentary as a theater of justice, the roles of reenactment and intelligence work within this theater, and the contemporary expression of documentary justice in the efflorescence of true crime media.
Participants: Jason Fox, Josh Guilford, Ivone Margulies, Paige Sarlin, Leshu Torchin
Accessing the Visual Archives of Post War Europe: Trauma, Obliteration and Reconstruction
December 18th, 2020, 18:30 CET / 12:30PM EST
Joint presentation of „ViCTOR-E – Visual Culture of Trauma, Obliteration and Reconstruction in Post-WW II Europe“, an international research project in the HERA research programme „Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe“.
Non-fiction film in postwar Europe is closely linked to various projects of material, political and cultural reconstruction in a continent torn apart by WW II and its aftermath. While newsreels, documentaries and educational films were essential tools to establish shared iconographies, narratives and vocabularies within ideologically and spatially redefined societies and communities, non-fiction film underwent a process of reconfiguration and diversification that is itself part of the reconstruction of Europe.
We currently experience a major shift in the accessibility of this part of the European film heritage, since a growing amount of audiovisual material is digitized and becomes more and more available online. This is not only a challenge for historians and film scholars but also an opportunity for the general public. Until today, cultural memories of the postwar period have been incisively shaped by specific historic icons and iconographies and thereby used to reproduce mainly national perspectives. While contemporary audiences already appear to be naturally invested in local film heritages, this iconographic nationalism is rarely challenged within transnational perspectives.
Bringing together archives, researchers and teachers from across Europe, our project VICTOR-E aims to combine at least three essential dimensions of providing access: Digitizing non-fiction films and making them accessible online via EFG; curating a virtual exhibition as a transnational space to explore non-fiction films from different national contexts; and developing a conceptual framework to understand non-fiction films as part of a European visual culture of trauma, obliteration and reconstruction. Based on a film program selected for the occasion and the experiences from an ongoing series of international workshops with students we will use this online event to discuss challenges and potentials of this endeavor. In particular, we would like to call for a reflection on the role of film a historic source in a time, when public spaces are increasingly virtualized: digitization policies, reception and re-mediation practices, risks of decontextualisation, misinterpretation or revisionism, as well as accurate rescuratorial and teaching possibilities.
Participants: Vinzenz Hediger, Lucie Cesalkova, Paolo Villa, Perrine Val, Johannes Praetorius-Rhein
The project VICTOR-E is financially supported by the HERA Joint Research Programme (www.heranet.info) which is co-funded by BMBF via DLR-PT, CAS, ANR, MIUR and the European Commission through Horizon 2020.