Mining Memories: New Explorations in Cinema, Memory and the Past
22 November 2019, University College Cork, Ireland
A one day symposium organised by Film and Screen Media, University College Cork, and Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, in association with the Irish Audiences Research Network.

Absence and forgetting to remember
Joint paper with Stuart Moore
This presentation explores the ‘buffering’ at play within the practice research essay film, Father-land (2018). The filmmakers Moore and Parker have childhood links with Cyprus through fathers stationed there with the RAF before the island’s division in 1974 when the United Nations established a demilitarized Buffer Zone.

A month-long artist residency hosted by Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre next to the Buffer Zone in Nicosia allowed active engagement with different registers of memory: childhood, family, (post)colonial archive, intra-production, among others. We evolved a methodology of ‘speaking in place’ where we recorded the film’s unscripted and improvised narration in Nicosia a year after the original filming. Multiple temporalities of memory were energised by being recorded in the locus of the recollections. The film footage became one of many layers of remembering rather than a direct referent, drawing on Babette Mangolte’s reflexive explorations of place and home - this reflective buffering freed the film to develop away from the documentary tendency to polemic.

This fluid and non-hierarchal dialogic methodology embedded digital technologies within an evolutionary experimental production process embracing multiple positions and viewpoints, creating an innovative multi-layered poetic film intertwining subjectivities with political and social histories of this place.

Image: Greek Cypriot guard post, Nicosia Buffer Zone, Cyprus (2018)