2017–2018 Sawyer Seminar

Filming Revolution and the Non-Narrative Poetics of Discourse

A lecture by Alisa Lebow

Part of the IU Sawyer Seminar on Documentary Media and Historical Transformations

Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017
Lindley Hall 102
4:30-6:00 p.m.

Image from Filming Revolution www.filmingrevolution.org

Documentary took some time to embrace the tremendous potential of Web 2.0, but more than a decade later, it is beginning to find its forms. No longer bound by the linear progression of time or its inherent limitations in terms of narrative causality, the interactive documentary offers opportunities only dreamt of in previous eras. Drawing from the tradition of the essay film and other experimental documentary modalities, this talk will emphasize the tremendous potential for data-base documentary to expand upon some of documentary’s historical strengths. She will address the current state of interactive documentary, broadly speaking, with its current emphasis on ‘storytelling’, arguing that documentary has long retained the freedom not to tell a story, and the interesting paths it has taken as a result. Using her own interactive project, Filming Revolution as a case study, she will consider why some interactive projects have productively resisted the compulsion to narrate a story, for reasons as much to do with the politics as the poetics of its subject. Filming Revolution (www.filmingrevolution.org) is a data-base meta-documentary about filmmaking in Egypt since the revolution.

Alisa Lebow is a Reader in Film Studies at University of Sussex. Her most recent project, Filming Revolution, combines her scholarly and practical work in an interactive documentary, which will soon be published as part of the Stanford University Press Digital Humanities initiative.

The IU Sawyer Seminar Series is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Center for Documentary Research and Practice, the Media School, the IU Cinema, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Black Film Center/Archive, the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, the College Arts & Humanities Institute, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

See past Sawyer Seminar Series