September 28, 2017

Filming Revolution and the Non-Narrative Poetics of Discourse

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

Lindley Hall 102
4:30-6:00 p.m.

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, Alisa Lebow 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 ( is a data-base meta-documentary about filmmaking in Egypt since the revolution.

Event Lecturer

Alisa Lebow

Reader in Film Studies at University of Sussex

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.