The amateur film is becoming a global visual lingua franca, a consequence of the conjuncture of the digital with new and widely accessible film technologies (notably the camera phone) and new methods of distribution (open access video platforms, typified by YouTube). Amateur film now saturates online media discourse as well as personal and social media communication. Its ubiquity is one visible example of the current radical shift in media systems, whilst the films themselves are both reshaping the formal language of the moving image and refashioning the representation, mediation, and even the construction of the self. In these three workshops we propose to examine the history and present state of amateur film, beginning with amateur films shot in the British colonies, and stretching through to the use of amateur film in the ongoing conflict in Syria. The workshops are led by Noah Angell, Francis Gooding, and Lee Grieveson, but include contributions from other scholars, artists, and media makers; they will feature extracts from various collections as well as from the film currently being made by Angell and Gooding.
From home movies to Homs is presented by UCL in association with CHIRP, the Derek Jarman Lab at Birkbeck, and Colonial Film: Moving Images of the British Empire (www.colonialfilm.org.uk). Sessions will take place from 3-5pm in the Birkbeck Cinema on 26th May, 9th June, and 23rd June. Attendance is free.