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Memory and Appropriation of the Archival Image

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 23, 2019. 05:30 PM - 07:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
McMurtry, 370
Workshop: 
Intersections of Documentary Filmmaking, Race, and Engagement
Meeting Description: 

What residual knowledge can we trace in archival images, and what meanings can these images acquire once appropriated? Is appropriation of the archive in itself an act of power? Documentary filmmakers often consider these questions when dealing and handling archival materials, particularly archival images: as reservoirs of meaning ready to be used, they are sources of knowledge from the past and a possible tool to reclaiming histories untold. Portuguese filmmaker Susana de Sousa Dias’ work has often focused on the tensions that archival images contain: in most of her films, she traces the phantoms and the remnants of the dictatorship that ruled in Portugal for 48 years through the images produced by the government and its political police, appropriating them in an attempt to restore discourse and give voices to those whose own voices were once unheard. Showing work in progress, de Sousa Dias will address these questions.

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