Report NECS Conference 2012 by Susan Aasman.
Since NECS – the European network for Cinema and Media Studies – started some years ago in 2006 Berlin it has been growing fast as a platform for film scholars, film archivists and curators. Especially scholars from all over Europe gather every year in another European capital (for instance: Berlin, Vienna, London, Budapest, Istanbul). Just recently the focus is less on film studies and more on audiovisual media in general. So this 2012 conference in Lisbon saw a there were many presentations on television and even a fascinating keynote on radio (Andreas Fickers).
Very interesting for our project was this year’s focus on home movies. We took the opportunity to present our project in a panel “Changing practices of memory staging: The cultural dynamics of home movies’ together with presentations by Annamaria Motrescu (Cambridge) on ’Cross-genre’ home movies, religious narratives and British imperial studies and Alexandra Schneider (Amsterdam) talked about ‘Towards a Media Archaeology of the Home Movie – Private Filmmaking in the Age of Network Culture’. But there were many more panels where amateur film, home movies or found footage was the central topic. Perhaps this had to do with the central theme of “screen memory”. The rising interest for home movies as a means for memory making and filmmaking is something that has been going on now for some time, mostly as a special theme (see for instance: ‘Saving Private Reels. An International Conference on the Presentation, Appropriation and Re-contextualisation of the Amateur Moving Image’, University College Cork, 2010 ) or genre at the London !Documentary Now conferences. The fact that home movie (making) as a practice/format/genre now has, somehow organically, infiltrated a more general media conference as NECS can be seen as a sign that academic attention for amateur film making is part of contemporary media studies.
Click here for a lide-show of Susan Aasman’s presentation: ‘From archival desire to performative pleasures. The changing status of home movies in the digital age’.
Click here for the slide-show presentation of Andreas Fickers’ key-note speech ‘Analogue Memory Machines – A Techno-Melancholic Perspective’.