Visible Evidence XXIV
2-5 August, 2017
Visible Evidence, the international conference on documentary film and media, will convene for its 24th year in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 2-5, 2017. VE2017 is hosted in collaboration with the National University of Tres de Febrero (UNTREF), Revista Cine Documental and the Argentine Association of Cinema and Audiovisual Studies (AsAECA). The conference will take place at the Centro Cultural Borges (Borges Cultural Center) above the traditional Galerías Pacífico and at the Margarita Xirgu theater in the historical neighborhood of San Telmo.
Visible Evidence Buenos Aires (2017) coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution and marks fifty years since Che Guevara’s assassination in Bolivia. These two transcendental events compel us to contemplate anew the relationship between documentary film and revolutionary movements. In the 1960s, Argentina and other Latin American nations were at the center of a transnational debate about the role of film as a tool for social change in a regional movement called “New Latin American Cinema.” In the next decade, many filmmakers were disappeared or killed and many others were forced into exile. From abroad, or clandestinely in their own countries, filmmakers thought deeply about the ethical, moral, aesthetic, and political dimensions of their practices, in particular about how to represent individuals as political agents. An important aspect of their work was to foster political alliances with their colleagues, producers and film distributors in other developing countries. In spite of the brutal political persecution, their activist approach to filmmaking had an enormous influence on younger generations, particularly after the economic crisis at the turn of the twenty first century and the popular insurrections that disrupted the neoliberal takeover of the economy, society, and culture in many Latin American countries. The Latin American documentary film tradition followed these popular revolts closely, gradually incorporating many of the organizing structures of progressive social movements. Thus, while notions of Third Cinema or Political Cinema may seem less prominent in recent years, it is productive to think about the elements of the traditions that live on in contemporary Latin American film and beyond in the ‘Global South.’
At the beginning of the new millennium, one sees a fruitful and combative debate about the efficacy of documentation, understood within the historiography of human rights abuses, indigenous rights, marginalized communitiesand genocide. There has also been an increase in interest in documentary film in the last two decades in Argentina and other countries in Latin America. Progressive governments throughout the continent have increased funding for non-fiction films, strengthening ongoing discussions in academic circles about the role of the state as a patron of the arts. We believe that the time is ripe to rethink the relations between documentary film and national cinemas, as currently, state-funded progressive films are not always in agreement with transnational trends in contemporary cinema.
In line with previous conferences, Visible Evidence XXIV will address the history, theory, and practice of documentary cinema, television, video, digital media, photography, and performance. Proposals for panels and workshops may address, but are not limited to, the following themes:
- Documenting social movements
- Revolutionary filmographies
- Documenting Latin America, documenting “the South”
- Experimental and non-conventional non-fiction cinema
- Documenting the “global North” and/or “the global South”
- Hypertextuality practices in documentary cinema
- First person documentary film
- Frictions between performativity, fiction and documentary
- New technology issues: dispositives, interfaces, internet, television and other media experiences
- Documentary between national/regional tradition and transnational trends
- Scopes and limits of contemporary documentary theory
- Transmedia and Interactive Documentary. New Problems
- Documenting human rights abuses
- Discourses of neo-colonialism in the 21st century
Submission deadline: November 4, 2016 (by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time) For the full call, including Spanish-language call, see the conference website.