British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies
7th Annual Conference 2019
Intersecting Identities: Race, Sex, Nation
25 to 27 April 2019, University of Birmingham, UK
stuart-moore-kayla-parker-father-land-exhibition-stillPanel: Intersectionality in the Essay Film: Intersecting Identities in the Polysemic Memoir (BAFTSS Essay Film Special Interest Group)-
This panel concerns intersectionality within essay film practices. Being transgressive both structurally and conceptually (Alter, 1996, 171), the polysemic form of the essay film enables the filmmakers to rupture the dominant discourses of institutional histories and to give voice to marginalised subjectivities. Blurring the traditional boundaries between documentary and fiction, the self-reflective and self-reflexive hybridity of the essay film enables interlocking identities, memories and experiences of individuals to assert themselves and be heard against the discourses of power.

Buffering: processing intersectionality in a divided city
This paper critically discusses the dialogic screen-writing methodology that operated in the origination, development, production and post-production phases of Father-land (2018), the short essay film made by the authors through an artist residency in Nicosia on the island of Cyprus. Nicosia is the only capital city in Europe divided by a wall, the demilitarised Buffer Zone patrolled and monitored by the United Nations, a physical border that nonetheless a porous boundary that allows the passage of feral animals and may be traversed by birds and sound.

Political and social histories, the legacies of colonialism, occupation, and the Cold War, resonate culturally and also biographically for the filmmakers, as both had childhood links with Cyprus through fathers stationed there with the Royal Air Force before the island’s division. In making Father-land, a place of unresolved conflict became the landscape within which dislocated spoken memories of absence and presence, home and displacement, were exchanged by two protagonists. The filmmakers’ fluid and non-hierarchal approach enabled movement beyond binary perspectives and embraced multiple positions and viewpoints, fostering the creation of an innovative multi layered poetic moving image artwork that allows the intertwining of subjectivities with the political and social histories.

keywords: Buffer Zone, Cyprus, essay film