Title: Strategies of Film Archives in the Face of National Trauma: Exile and Colonies
Stream: Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Communication
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Alberto Berzosa, Spanish National Research Council, Spain
Josetxo Cerdán, Filmoteca Española, Spain
National film archives are complex institutions with many levels of management, which also carry the weight of the history and identities of states. They are sensitive spaces of collective history, given the complexity of their activity as regulators of visual materials that shape national identities. As a result of the patrimonial turn that film libraries underwent in the late 1980s, their collections began to receive amateur materials filmed by private individuals in substandard formats outside the commercial circuits. These materials, which until then had been considered minor by these institutions, came to be recognised as audiovisual heritage. At the same time, they posed numerous challenges in terms of rights management, the collapse of restoration teams, and their difficult fit with a programme that seeks to attract the general public to cinema. The complex handling of those materials becomes more complex when dealing with films made during critical processes of mobility, such as those related to exile or colonial expansion. For the memory of nations, like it happens in Spain, the memory of the exile afert the Civil War and its recent colonial past in the African territories is particularly traumatic. Precisely to overcome the frictions regarding the memory of exile and African colonies in a sort of institutional resilient proposal, Filmoteca Española, has developed in recent years (2018-2020) a strategy to activate and generate debate around these materials based on research work and production of new films. This contribution will explain what this programme consists of and show its results.
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