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The first decade of the 21st century witnessed an explosion of interest in documentary cinema, enthused and transformed by digital technologies. With increasingly affordable cameras and digital editing, as well as evolving online viewing and sharing platforms, filmmaking and film viewing entered a qualitatively new stage, challenging the established approaches to reality, document, and evidence as well as formatting new ways of grasping and affecting societal changes. Questions generated by the digital nature of the imagery, shifting concepts of “author” and “consumer” of images, as well as a changing infrastructure of production, circulation, and preservation of audio-visual imagery requires revisiting the very foundations of the concepts of document and documentary.
The summer school creates an innovative interdisciplinary forum by bringing together film and media scholars and filmmakers to bridge the space between academic and non-academic settings and to examine the state-of-the art debates and new practices in documentary cinema. Our goal is to move beyond the use of audio-visual material as illustration towards a reflexive examination of the foundations of image-based research and teaching. The course targets advanced graduate students, junior and post-doctoral researchers, and early career scholars in film and media studies, social sciences, gender studies, history, and human rights.