Jun 14 – 17, 2022
Europe/London timezone

Screening Violence: a transnational approach to the local imaginaries of post-conflict transition

Jun 16, 2022, 3:00 PM
1h 30m
Council Chamber, Civic Centre

Council Chamber, Civic Centre



“Screening Violence: A Transnational Study of Post-Conflict Imaginaries”, an AHRC-sponsored research project currently in progress, aims to map the local imaginaries of conflict and post-conflict transition in five locations across the globe (Algeria, Argentina, Colombia, Indonesia and Northern Ireland). Our decision to focus on the social imaginaries of conflict is based on the premise that it is within the imaginary that the meanings of these struggles is fixed. A key feature of the project is its interdisciplinary and participatory approach to knowledge production, which draws on popular culture and its reception as a way into the rich textures, ambiguities and inconsistencies of symbolic worlds. We work with the medium of film in a multi-faceted way: as a methodological tool designed to set up debates that allow us to chart social imaginaries; as an imaginary space itself, both reflective and constitutive of the popular imaginaries in question; and as creative expression, as we work with local filmmakers to co-create a cinematic cartography of the imaginaries that emerge in each site throughout the project. Focus groups and audience ethnography serve as a people-centred, participatory approach to the production of knowledge that goes beyond the screenings in our attempt to understand local imaginaries.
Reflecting on this complex work in progress, this panel seeks to engage conference participants in key areas of discussion:
• How do questions of scale affect the study of local social imaginaries? In other words, how do local understandings of conflict show the influence of the local, the national and the international?
• The value of using film as both a conceptual frame (film as a popular imaginary space in itself) and methodological tool (film spectatorship and reception as a window into the imaginary) for carrying out field research that aims to map the local imaginaries of post-conflict transition;
• The architecture of the project and the challenges of carrying out this study comparatively across five sites.
The roundtable will be structured and present findings as follows:
1. Brief film screening (Sowan, 18 minutes) and commentary followed by discussion of following themes:
2. The role of the imaginary in understanding post-conflict societies.
3. Film reception and audience ethnography: Researching using film in a transnational context.
The roundtable proposes to share preliminary findings from the research project and to seek audience input, comment, criticism and suggestions for further development of the conceptual and fieldwork approaches. Equal amounts of time will be divided between the presentation and audience participation to ensure a fully interactive session.

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