A University of Central Lancashire blog, recording the experiences and events within Film and Media

Refugee Voices

Fazila Bhimji participated in a conference entitled ‘Refugee Voices’ organised by the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford on 3/24/2014. Fazila’s paper entitled ‘Die Asyl-Monologe and the German Actors’ examined the ways in which this documentary theatre allowed the political agency of refugees to manifest themselves during the performance as well as during the follow-up Q & A discussions. Additionally, the paper examined the solidarity efforts and the ideological underpinnings of the theatre team regarding broader refugee politics and activism in Germany. This paper fitted in well with the larger theme of the conference which was to examine the meanings and several layers of Refugee Voices across the globe in different situations including aesthetic expressions.  

Dr Anandi Ramamurthy took part in the AHRC Research Development Workshop on disconnections from 18 – 20 March 2014. The aim of this workshop was to stimulate the development of innovative, cross-disciplinary, community-engaged, research projects to better understand the disconnections that can occur from, within and between communities and the consequences, positive and negative, of disconnection in different cultural contexts. It explored the potential for research to engage with the assets and creativity within diverse communities, to address some of the challenges that can be associated with ‘disconnection’, such as loneliness, isolation, exclusion, alienation, marginalization, discrimination, conflict and extremism and low levels of civic participation and/or engagement. As a result of the workshop she is working with a consortium including academic and community partners to explore ‘Creative Interruptions’ by groups on the margins to have their voices heard.

Falco and Beyond: Neo Nothing Post of All

Ewa Mazierska,

Equinox 2014

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Falco and Beyond is devoted to the most popular Austrian song-writer, singer and rapper of the twentieth century and one of the most successful European singers of all time. Falco was born in 1957, reached the peak of his popularity in the 1980s with songs such as “Der Kommissar”, “Rock Me Amadeus” and “Jeanny”, with mixed luck attempted to revive his career in the 1990s and died in a car crash in 1998. He sold over 30 million records worldwide and remains a successful posthumous artist. The book attempts to identify the most salient and contradictory features of Falco’s art, such as linguistic inventiveness and dexterity, rapping and adopting a posture of a romantic artist. It argues that Falco’s songs betray an apocalyptic imagination, picturing the image of an exhausted and unhappy world. It looks at Falco’s career and his phenomenon in the context of international and Austrian music business and politics, and investigates how his popularity has been maintained after his death, by means such as records released posthumously, cover versions of his songs, mashup songs and videos, biographies and Falco fandom.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Part 1 Falco and the Logic of the Neoliberal Culture Industry

Part 2 Falco Synchronic: Romanticism and Intertextuality

Part 3 Falco Diachronic: From Grace to Gravity

Part 4 Falco Lebt: Mourning and Melancholia

 

First Year film and media students on Reading Film visited exhibitions in Manchester on 26 November 2013 to see the the film noir Double Indemnity exhibition at the Cornerhouse. The students also visited the Fashion Museum at Platt fields Park in order to understand the relationship between the history of fashion and film. The purpose of this visit was to explore closely how Film Theory and Practice can and may interact.

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Postcolonial Approaches to Eastern European Cinema: Portraying Neighbours On-Screen
Eds. Ewa Mazierska, Lars Kristensen & Eva Näripea
I.B.Tauris, 2014

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All countries and nations are deeply affected by their neighbours and every national cinema reflects this relationship. This book explores how postcolonial approaches can ‘frame’ the neighbours of people living in Eastern Europe. It elucidates how the region has evolved from being a communist extension of the Soviet Union to becoming integrated into neoliberal capitalism.
Drawing on classical studies of postcoloniality by Edward Said, Gayatri C. Spivak and Homi K. Bhabha, as well as theorists and historians like Janusz Korek and Jaak Kangilaski, who specialise in the Eastern European variant of postcolonialism, the book demonstrates particular sensitivity to the question of genre in investigating how neighbours fit into and shape melodramas and thrillers, heritage and war films. Contributors explore a wide range of films in relation to territory, from the steppes of the East to reunified Berlin and to Albania on the Adriatic Sea and from the streets of Tallinn to the hill slopes in Transylvania. Individual chapters situate in a new context movies of internationally celebrated filmmakers, such as Roman Polanski, Agnieszka Holland, Nikita Mikhalkov and Jan Hřebejk, as well as introducing films by locally renowned directors, such as Władysław Pasikowski, Kujtim Çashku, Arsen Anton Ostojić and Leida Laius.
Contents
Ewa Mazierska, Lars Kristensen, Eva Näripea, Introduction: Postcolonial Theory and the Postcommunist World
Kristin Kopp, ‘If Your Car Is Stolen, It Will Soon Be in Poland’: Criminal Representations of Poland and the Poles in German Fictional Film of the 1990s
Ewa Mazierska, Neighbours (Almost) Like Us: Representation of Germans, Germanness and Germany in Polish Communist and Postcommunist Cinema
Petra Hanáková, ‘I’m at Home Here’: Sudeten Germans in Czech Postcommunist Cinema
Peter Hames, Jánošík: The Cross-Border Hero
John Cunningham, From Nationalism to Rapprochement? Hungary and Romania On-Screen
Elżbieta Ostrowska, Postcolonial Fantasies. Imagining the Balkans: The Polish Popular Cinema of Władysław Pasikowski
Špela Zajec, ‘Narcissism of Minor Differences’? Problems of ‘Mapping’ the Neighbour in Post-Yugoslav Serbian Cinema
Vlastimir Sudar, New Neighbours, Old Habits and Nobody’s Children: Croatia in the Face of Old Yugoslavia
Bruce Williams, The Distant Among Us: Kolonel Bunker (1998) in a Postcolonial Context
Lars Kristensen, The ‘Far East’ Neighbour in Nikita Mikhalkov’s Urga (1991)
Eva Näripea, The Women Who Weren’t There: Russians in Late Soviet Estonian Cinema

In December 2013, Senior Lecturer, Anandi Ramamurthy published a book on Colonial Advertising & Commodity Racism in collaboration with Professor Wulf Hund and Professor Michael Pickering with LIT Verlag.  ISBN 978-3-643-90416-4. The book is the fourth volume in The Racism Analysis Yearbook.

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Contents:
Wulf D. Hund: Advertising White Supremacy. Capitalism, Colonialism and Commodity Racism |
Anandi Ramamurthy, Kalpana Wilson: ›Come and Join the Freedom-Lovers‹. Race, Appropriation and Resistance in Advertising |
Robert W. Rydell: Buffalo Bill’s ›Wild West‹. The Racialisation of the Cosmopolitan Imagination |
Michael Pickering: ›Fun Without Vulgarity‹? Commodity Racism and the Promotion of Blackface Fantasies |
Malte Hinrichsen: From Œcumene toTrademark. The Symbolism of the ›Moor‹ in the Occident |
Emma Robertson: Bittersweet Temptations. Race and the Advertising of Cocoa |
Katharina Eggers, Robert Fechner: ›The German Alternative‹. Nationalism and Racism in ›Afri-Cola‹


What exactly does the recent hit ‘Gangnam Style’ tell us about modern musical culture? Are geographical boundaries becoming increasingly meaningless as native inhabitants translate popular music for a local and global audience?

These are some of the questions that were addressed at a major international conference at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
By its very nature, lots of popular music – from jazz to RnB or punk- is known for its hybrid and transcultural character. It feeds on earlier styles, cultural artefacts and different art forms and travels from country to country.
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The conference was supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Research Fund of the School of Journalism and Digital Communication at UCLan brought together cultural historians, film scholars, as well as specialists in popular music and translation studies from countries including UK, Poland, Austria, Estonia, Romania and Kenya.

In total over 20 papers were delivered over two days, four of which will be dedicated to Falco, singer of “Rock Me Amadeus” and successful Austrian pop star who was recognised as one of the most transnational and transcultural musicians in the world. Other papers will cover the history of music videos, multilingualism, the history of punk and rap, gender studies, psychoanalysis as well as film studies and tourism.

One paper, presented by Professor Ewa Mazierska at UCLan, examined Falco’s songs and music videos in depth. Another paper by UCLan Senior Lecturer Pete Atkinson looked to explore the way popular music is translated into popular TV formats and analyses the role of TV in the construction of British popular music history.

Plenary speakers at the event included:

• Ewa Mazierska (Professor of Contemporary Cinema)
• Georgina Gregory (Senior Lecturer in Film and Media Studies)
• Sarah Maitland (Lecturer in Translation, University of Hull)
• Paul Dale (Senior Lecturer, Oxford Brookes University)
• Allyson Fiddler (Professor of German and Austrian Studies, Lancaster University)
• Mike Dines (Senior Lecturer in Music Studies, the University of Chichester)
• Eva Näripea (Senior Research Fellow, Estonian Academy of Arts)

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