Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh.
Supervisor: Dr Jamie Chambers
Migration, border surveillance and border walls, cultural and social figurations in which the visible is paradoxically mixed with the invisible, are of particular interest to border aesthetics and academic field addressing cultural production related to geopolitical borders across the world and the aesthetic dimension of boundaries (Schimanski and Wolfe, 2019). In this context, aesthetically and politically accomplished documentary films have been produced about forced displacement considering the so-called European Refugee Crisis. However, what narratives, visions or myths related to national frontiers are present in recent documentary films? To what extent does the saturation of images of suffering related to a refugee crisis is instigating innovative approaches and new modes of documentary storytelling? How borders-crossing journeys are expressed and sensed through the perspective of female travellers? And finally, how can documentary practices co-create narratives beyond contemporary concepts of asylum, citizenship, and national belonging? The present practice-based research will investigate creative and collaborative non-fiction film practices, engaging with women’s lived experiences of forced migration. It attempts to bring into light prospects of a world beyond contemporary imagination of geographic and symbolic borders, reflecting on women’s cultural silence and/or absence of those narratives. Methodologically, the project combines film analysis, visual ethnography, and collaborative filmmaking. The aim is to explore the link between aesthetic sensitivity in documentary film and border enforcement’s political context from a postcolonial and feminist perspective.
Schimanski, J. & Wolfe, S. F. (eds.) (2019) Border Aesthetics: Concepts and Intersections. Berghahn Books.
Funded by the Edinburgh College of Art PhD Scholarship (2021-2025)