Documentary Futures in the Present

Norouzi, Minou. 2018. 'Documentary Futures in the Present'. In: Documentary Now!. BIMI, Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom 15 December 2018. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Session 1: Has the documentary failed? A counter question may be: what did the documentary hope to succeed in? Is the anxiety of failure not inextricably linked with assumed past successes that could somehow be recovered? My position wishes not to echo the binary rhetoric of failure and success played out in the political sphere. Instead I argue for a stoic continuation of new compositions, new questions, new pedagogies that can come into being though dialogue. Presented as art in the context of exhibitions, the reading and reception of documentary, and particularly questions as to its political efficacy, have historically been fraught with expectations of what a documentary is or ought to do. I argue that the gain of documentary in art is the demand for dexterity in spectatorship as well as in production methodologies. And that this demand for dexterity enables a necessarily continual reframing of critical debates on ‘truth’, power, and ethics.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Anthropology > Centre for Visual Anthropology (CVA)


15 December 2018Published

Event Location:

BIMI, Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom

Date range:

15 December 2018

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Date Deposited:

21 Oct 2019 15:23

Last Modified:

21 Oct 2019 15:23


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