Editorial Necsus At its heart, solidarity is about united action in support of a community or communities. To stand in solidarity with a community means that one’s commitment to that community also translates into political expression and organisation. The articles in our special section #Solidarity investigate how media can support such efforts at solidarity and […]
Author Archive for: Greg DeCuir
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Entries by Greg DeCuir
In 2020, a lot of film festivals were cancelled or postponed to 2021. Others were organised in person (following the security measures imposed in each country regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, reducing the number of people in a closed space). Most festivals opted for online or hybrid options. Some festivals chose to use online platforms, turning […]
The One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (One World), which takes place in March, opens the Czech festival season. Since its inception in 1999, initiated by a human rights campaigner Igor Blaževič, this has become a reputable event and one of the major European human rights film festivals. In terms of the total number […]
The year 2020 was marked by Covid-19 health emergencies disrupting lives and societies on a global scale. No country or sector of our everyday life has been left unscathed by these unprecedented levels of sudden change and urgent adaptation that we all have experienced in different ways. Creative sectors also needed to quickly adapt and […]
It has been a decade since the streets of Saint-Louis have been hosting the only international documentary film festival in Senegal. Travelling speakers and local griots enthusiastically announce the arrival of the Festival International du Film Documentaire de Saint-Louis, also known as Stlouis’DOCS, gathering around 10,000 people for the past few years. The 11th edition […]
Amidst violent police killings of people of colour, a global health pandemic, and a grassroots surge in activism calling for social justice in the US and abroad, the Boston Latino International Film Festival (BLIFF) was more crucial than ever in 2020. Launching virtually from 23-27 September 2020, the community festival continued with its nearly twenty-year […]
Rhetoric around live-streaming and immersive media and technologies often focus on their ability to mobilise solidarity. Mobil-Eyes Us (2016-19) was a project focused on live-streamed witnessing and meaningful solidarity in collaboration between the human rights organisation WITNESS and favela-based activists in Brazil. Contextualised in human rights witnessing and live-streaming research, this paper analyses usages of live-streams for human rights and learnings around the relationship between frontline and distant witnesses. It discusses how relevant and structured live-streamed experiences as well as opportunities for action move viewers to appropriate solidarity. Data included over 100 live-streams by frontline witnesses, as well as project experimentation with content and strategies. Key research questions focused on more equitable relationships of ‘mediating distant suffering’ and asserting the agency of frontline community journalists and activists, and on strategies for confronting patterns of denial that rights violations were occurring or patterns of audiences joining only for live-streamed violence. Understanding livestreaming also as a form of immersive witnessing, the project focused on avoiding perpetuating voyeuristic ‘improper distance’ between viewers and the streamers or neglecting intra-community participants joining via live-stream. The paper assesses how curation and intentional narrative arcs rather than singular events or a reliance on spontaneity and simultaneity, as well as the inclusion of experiences of ordinary life and joy, help facilitate connection and solidarity. Finally, it notes challenges encountered managing live-streamed simultaneity with escalating risks, and the opportunities for further research into co-present witnessing in new media formats.
This article studies the literary, affective, and political possibilities generated by digital literary micro-narratives published on Terribly Tiny Tales, a popular micro-blogging platform in India. More specifically, it will study the narratives which relate to the theme of gender politics, rape culture, patriarchy, misogyny, etc. within the contextual framework of a change in the nature of public discourse in Indian digital spaces after the brutal rape and murder of a young resident of New Delhi in 2012. This article argues that the peculiar digital and affective poetics of micro-narratives combined with their modality of circulation and the infrastructure of digital media platforms produces a form of ambient politics, characterised by its sensory and mundane qualities.
‘HD is about reality’ (p. 11). Elisa Linseisen’s first monograph High Definition: Medienphilosophisches Image Processing (Meson Press, 2020), based on her doctoral thesis, opens with a powerful argument. The book is published open access. Through the analysis of documentaries, video art works, galaxy photographs, blockbusters, press images, and Netflix series Linseisen demonstrates that high definition […]
This article argues that one of the many ways that white supremacy functions within digital culture is to obscure the realities of social inequity via neoliberal dictums for self-improvement and individualist calls to live our ‘best lives’. For decades Black feminists have been advocating for self-care as preservation and community building. This article highlights the need for self-care to return to its roots in Black feminism and to distinguish itself from popular feminist enactments of self-care. To do so, we critically analyse examples of postfeminist enactments of #selfcare on Instagram to highlight how they exacerbate societal inequities. We first explore the relationship between #selfcare and Instagram itself, outlining the effects of Instagram’s affordances on its users to demonstrate how both users and the platform shape each other. Next, we interrogate #selfcare as a space of #solidarity, arguing that current iterations privilege white upper-class frameworks that benefit from various oppressions. Last, we closely analyse The Nap Ministry, an Instagram account that highlights Black feminist self-care principles that intervene into prevailing white frameworks and, in doing so, co-opts the platform affordances of Instagram to model forms of action and offer frameworks we need for the present. In sum, this article suggests that genuine #solidarity through #selfcare must decenter whiteness and take up a more intersectional feminist lens.
Queerkins: Ark is the second chapter of a four-chapter cinematic virtual reality experience Queerskins (2018-ongoing). The piece, made by Illya Szilak and Cyril Tsiboulski in collaboration with the choreographer Brandon Powers, premiered at the Venice VR Expanded exhibition of the Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica La Biennale di Venezia that took place digitally – in virtual […]
During the COVID-19 lockdown the community experimented with alternative forms of doing documentary, e.g. social media initiatives with a documentary impetus and collaborative web projects. Apart from the participants’ urge to document and share their experiences in unprecedented times, these platforms were created to feel connected and to self-reflexively cope with a confined lifestyle. This article takes the Corona Haikus project as a case study to discuss co-creation as a form of care. As a way for ‘im/mediate/d caring and sharing’ the project goes beyond the mere act of documenting but combines creativity with connectivity and connectiveness.
Over the past few decades, there has been a significant uptick in the number of people relocating to Berlin. This influx is most often viewed as a response to rebranding the reunified German capital as a creative city – a tactic that foregrounded Berlin’s longstanding reputation for cheap rent, liberal attitudes, artistic culture, and vibrant nightlife. The housing market responded as vacancies plummeted while rent prices skyrocketed. Alongside the widely lamented changing face of the reunified capital, the spike in rent prices is one tangible outcome of Berlin’s rapid gentrification. This essay examines the aesthetics of gentrifying Berlin through an examination of a genre commonly associated with the imperatives of gentrification: the romantic comedy. Unlike other cinema traditions associated with urban space, the romcom is commonly understood as a genre that frames the city as a site of aspirational affluence and consumerism. This framing has, to date, overwhelmingly referred to romcoms produced in the American context. Through analyses of three romcoms set in Berlin – Germany’s highest grossing romcom to date Keinohrhasen (‘Rabbit Without Ears’, Schweiger, 2007); the 2019 installment in Emmanuel Benbihy’s ‘City of Love’ anthology film series, Berlin, I Love You; and Doris Dörrie’s Glück (‘Bliss’, 2012) this essay interrogates whether romcoms set in Berlin can be, as has been claimed of their US counterparts, understood as a genre of gentrification.
This article sets out the rationale for a videographic scholarship (the audiovisual study of screen media) that adopts constraint-based or ‘parametric’ procedures, and concludes with a short manifesto composed according to the simple constraint of division into ten equal segments of 50 words each. The article situates a parametric practice in relation to OuLiPo (a group founded in the early 1960s to explore constraint-based approaches to writing), to pataphysics (an absurdist branch of knowledge concerned with what eludes understanding by conventional means), to themes in the digital humanities, and to the posthuman. And it issues a call to forge an ‘agonistic society’ of videographic scholars who goad each other to greater achievement through the conspicuous and wasteful expenditure of resources of knowledge.
From 20-21 November 2021, the Faculty of Creative Industries at the University of South Wales will host the interdisciplinary two-day online conference ‘The Politics of Casting in Media’. With an interest in the critical examination of casting both vocationally and textually as well as the role of the casting director within wider media production cultures, […]