Join the Durham Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC) for a film screening and panel discussion with Dr Ian Mc Donald (Newcastle University), who is sharing with us his documentary film, 'Who is Europe?'. Ian will be joined on the panel by Durham academics Dr Yael Almog, Dr Hanna Ruszczyk and Prof Johnny Darling. A 'Global Week' event, in collaboration with Ustinov College, Durham.
Please registerhereso we know the catering numbers!
Who is Europe?
Who is Europe? (2019/30 mins) is a split screen documentary in three acts. Filmed in Dresden, in Malilla (a Spanish exclave in Africa) and on the Hungarian/Serbian border, Who is Europe? presents snapshots of the ongoing 'crisis of identity' in/of Europe.
A series of dualisms underpin the filmic treatment: ‘then and now’, ‘us and them’ and ‘here and there’. These are expressed in a split-screen format by a poetics of juxtaposition to highlight contrasts and dissonances. In portraying the tensions over the different experiences and understandings of Europe today, this film raises critical questions for our times: Who is Europe? Whither Europe? Who belongs?
Who is Europe? was made as part of an Europe-wide EU-funded research project, CoHERE – ‘(Critical Heritages: performing and representing identities in Europe)’, led by Prof Chris Whitehead and Dr Susannah Eckersley from Newcastle University. A key focus of the research, and the framework for the film, was on the ways that heritages are often used to create division, exclusion and isolation. For example, in Act 1 supporters of Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) mobilise memories of the Allied bombardment of Dresden in 1945 to advance an anti-migrant politics today. While in Act 3, the emergence of a securitised border in Orbán’s Hungary is not simply a barrier against migrants from the Middle East and Africa (such as those young Moroccan men and boys in Melilla in Act 2), but is a new iteration in the palimpsest of divisions and orderings of Europe and its peoples.
Who is Europe? is also a provocation about what is meant by ‘heritage film’ and how we understand the relationship between research and film. The filmmaker and heritage researchers supported each other in approaching documentary practice-led research, not simply as a supplementary ‘show-and-tell’ concerned with ‘communicating the research’ to audiences, but as a different form of creative, critical and political research practice that offers alternative visions and understandings.