Ongoing projects

Choice, Control and Their Discontents: Video on Demand in Turkey. 01/10/2021 - 31/03/2022

Abstract

This research explores the discourse of choice and control associated with video on demand (VoD) platforms and the changing modes of film and TV viewership. The on-demand era brings more individualization, customization and audience fragmentation. The "choice fatigue" among the audience intensifies as the number of VoD platforms and quality content they offer increases. The research engages in an analysis of different models of choice and control offered by different VoD platforms that function in Turkey, two global (Netflix and MUBI) and one local (BluTV), in relation to each other. In order to specify the conflicts and tensions between the industry and audience, this research incorporates the audience perspective into the picture, and compares it with the official accounts, promises and offerings of these platforms. Drawing on semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted online during the Covid-19 pandemic (a period, as most of the interviewees confirm, of increased VOD consumption) with audience/users of Netflix, MUBI and BluTV, this study explore how new forms of film & TV viewership emerge together with the changing viewing habits, with their continuities and deviations from the traditional modes of media spectatorship.

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Dialogue for Cinema as Cultural Heritage: Identification, recognition and community-based inventory of cinemas as the intangible cultural heritage in Adana via cross-border dialogue. 01/04/2021 - 30/06/2022

Abstract

The global objective of this proposal is to promote civil society dialogue through the establishment of cooperation between institutions in Turkey and the EU, by focusing on the sector of cinema and film-making as cultural heritage values in the Çukurova Region and the city of Adana in particular. The specific objective of this proposal is to promote cross-border dialogues and networking between CSOs and other stakeholders in Turkey and the EU, by raising awareness, sharing experience/knowledge and cultural/creative production in the field of history of cinema. The main partner is Flying Balloon Children and Youth Association and we work with the Radio, Television and Cinema Department at Çukurova University. The project entails 1. field activities: Identification of cinema theatres and other cinema and film-making related places in the Çukurova Region recording, itinerary development for city cinema tours, etc.2 digitalisation activities: Building an interactive web tool for mapping of cinema spaces; digital library of Cine-House collection 3. Artistic content development activities: Film/Documentary making, compilation of film musics of the region and 4. Awareness-raising and knowledge transfer activities on cinema heritage: Seminars on cultural heritage and cinema history of the region (mainly young people), organisation of city cinema tours, training of young people as city cinema tour guides, study visits to the EU, film screening, film musics performance, etc. 5. Travel of young students to Belgium for a short training.

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Project website

The diaspora kino-eye: A multi-methodological research project on diaspora film policies and representations in Flanders (2002-2021) 01/11/2020 - 31/10/2022

Abstract

Over the last decades a major upswing of diaspora cinema in Europe took place. In Flanders, this flux of diaspora filmmaking is specifically relevant as cross-cultural identities have assumed a prominent role in contemporary cinematic narratives. Diaspora cinema is considered to be one of those symbolic sites of struggles within a multicultural society that can help in the deconstruction of Eurocentric and hegemonic modes of thought, eliciting a transnational, intercultural shift. While diaspora cinema studies usually depart from a textual or reception perspective, the media industry and policy contexts in which these diaspora discourses are produced and distributed remain understudied. This project is specifically interested in the complex relationship between Flemish film policy and the question of diasporic, intercultural diversity. This research project scrutinizes the political, industrial and socio-cultural dynamics of diaspora film productions in Flanders. Therefore, this project will (1) map Flemish film policy's institutional frameworks and discourses with regard to diaspora cultures and cinema (2002-2021); (2) critically investigate policy practices on Flemish diaspora film production and distribution; and (3) analyse cinematic representations of diaspora cultures. The main host institution for Alexander De Man's FWO PhD Fellowship is Ghent University (supervisor: Daniel Biltereyst), the University of Antwerp is the partner institution (supervisor: Gertjan Willems).

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Contemporary Kasala and Lukasa: towards a Reconfiguration of Identity and Geopolitics. 08/10/2019 - 07/10/2023

Abstract

This project aims to create new memory devices, based upon two existing devices used by different Luba groups living in the DRC: - kasala is a ceremonial poem, sung or recited by Luba in the provinces Kasai Occidental and Kasai Oriental and Sankara, that serves as a public and solemn way to pay homage to and laud the actions and accomplishments of kings, chiefs, lineage heads and other types of public figures; -lukasa is a memory board used and 'read' in a ritual performance by Mbudye, an association of men, responsible for the transmission of historical knowledge at the court of Luba kings, situated in the former province of Katanga. These two different Luba groups were divided during the colonial era by boundaries between the former provinces of Kasai and Katanga. Descendants of Luba groups from Kasai who live in Katanga are now often considered 'foreigners' by those who claim to be the 'original' inhabitants of Katanga. The art works to be created are meant to bring these groups back together through a narrative that is part personal, part historical, par fictitious.

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Traveling words and images. A study of tourist fiction and non-fiction of contemporary Spain and Latin America. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

This project focuses on the impact of tourism on contemporary fiction and non-fiction in the Hispanic world. While both Spain and Latin America can boast a long tradition of travel writing, tourism's more recent impact on their cultures has gone largely unnoticed. This is due to persisting prejudices concerning tourism as an inferior, more mass-consumerist practice than travelling, as well as to a predominantly sociological approach in tourism studies. The project remedies this gap by focusing on tourist imaginaries of both fictional and non-fictional nature in literature and film, but also provides an interdisciplinary take on this cultural production by collaborating with a cultural anthropologist specialized in tourism. While the Leuven applicants will concentrate on literary and cinematographic renderings of tourism, the co-applicant in Antwerp will provide insight into how real tourists negotiate their relationship to the tourist industry, with special attention to the digital dimension of tourist experiences. In their research hypothesis, the applicants contest the idea that "travel writing is dead", claiming instead that it has been transformed under the effect of the recent expansion of tourism and digitalization of contemporary society. The project will focus on three keyresearch sites for this topic: Spain, Cuba, and the Southern Cone.

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Safeguards of the cultural heritage. Tools and practices for its intergrated management in Santiago de Cuba and the Eastern Region of Cuba. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

This project focuses on the development of tools and practices that relate to cultural heritage, ICT and sustainable local development from the logic of public spaces, places and memory, valuing the main results of the first stage in different contexts and institutions, in order to contribute to its integrated management. The development of heritage information systems and methodologies for intervention in heritage buildings are some of the tools that integrate the project within the wider societal context.

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Borders and Borderlands Revisited: A Visual and Mixed-method Study of Liminal Spaces and 'In Situ' Experiences 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

This research project investigates the varieties and dimensions of borders in selected border spaces by documenting the visual and multimodal manifestations of a diversity of borders (geopolitical and non-geopolitical), and through researching their impact on peoples' lives. It advocates and constructs an innovative mixed methodology for studying different aspects of semiotically-charged border spaces which allows to focus on both visual manifestations of various dimensions of borders and on people's actions and reactions towards those materialized expressions. Five distinct border(land) cases will make up the empirical part of this project. These research sites are carefully chosen to question and challenge existing types and typologies of borders and borderlands. The selected five distinct types of 'border' sites within the European realm, each are characterized by different forms of borderland continuation, different levels of border openness, and different dimensions of borders. The part of the field research focused on geopolitical borderlands (borders between nations) will test some of the existing typologies, and will seek to develop more refined alternatives. The fieldwork on dynamic non-geopolitical border sites (e.g. borders within cities) will seek to adapt and expand those border and borderland typologies for broader use and at the same time critically examine the viability and affordances of such a venture.

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Past projects

Screen Production and Exhibition in Istanbul Under Urban Transformation. 10/02/2020 - 10/08/2020

Abstract

This research aims to explore the relationship between new screen production and exhibition spaces and urban transformation in Istanbul. In the last two decades Istanbul, like many other metropolitan cities, witnessed a dramatic urban transformation. The reconstruction projects created new screen production sites by transforming post-industrial areas such as old ports and docks, abandoned factories into creative locales as well as new exhibition sites such as multiplexes, luxury city club movie theaters, hotel and museum screening halls which are adapted to the neoliberal urbanite consumption trends. This research will focus on both physical and representational spaces in the city and in audiovisual fiction to provide a comprehensive understanding on the relation between media production, consumption and urban studies. The overall research uses a multimethod approach, combining relevant approaches for each individual case study (e.g. content and visual analysis for cases on screen representation; media-ethnography and institutional discourse analysis for cases on production and exhibition spaces).

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BOF Sabbatical 2019-2020 - Paolo Favero. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2020

Abstract

Mijn project gaat over oude mensen in Delhi. Ik ga en langere abstract later toevoegen. Conducting ethnographic fieldwork in India in the framework of my new project on the aesthetics of dying. Focussing on hospices, hospitals, crematoria, funerary services, temples, homes for the elderly and the widows etc. as well as on digital/virtual environments (hence exploring online negotiations with death in social media, etc) this research explores the various ways in which aesthetic practices (such as image-making, music/singing, poetry, etc.) are engaged with, by subjects in different settings, for mediating, accompanying and coping with the experience of death and grief. Building upon consolidated anthropological research methods (participant observation, interviews, filming, sound recording, photography) and emerging digital techniques and technologies (smartphone storytelling applications, wearable cameras, techniques for "nethnography") the project approaches the visual field as its privileged entry point into this terrain. Fieldwork will be conducted mainly in Delhi, but partly also in Mumbai, Goa and Ladakh. 2.Collaborating as visiting professor and on the basis of my ongoing research in India, with the school of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai, India) and the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna3.Starting to write-up the volume "An Introduction to Visual Culture in the Social Sciences" (London: Bloomsbury). Offering an introduction to the field of visual culture for students and researchers in the social sciences, this book will benefit from the insights gathered during fieldwork.

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FWO Sabbatical 2019-2020 (P. Favero). 01/10/2019 - 31/03/2020

Abstract

Core topic at the centre of the research I plan to conduct during my sabbatical is, as mentioned, the connection between dying, loss and aesthetics. My entry into this terrain is from the vantage point of images and visual culture. Indeed, aware of the multisensory character of perception, of the ekphrastic qualities of the field of vision (that is, of the capacity of words and sounds to translate into images, Ingold 2010) and of the embodied nature of images (Belting 2011) my research will inevitably expand into a broader terrain of aesthetics and sensory practices. Such broadening also responds to the diversity in practices that may be found between different communities (see Hindu vs. Buddhist or Muslim environments) as well as to the changing role of images in the digital realm. As I have recently suggested (Favero 2018a), "present images", i.e. the images that circulate in today's digital habitats, stress a desire to abandon the duty of 'representing' the world out there, embracing instead a new role as multimodal, multisensory and multi-perspectival producers of relations, of material, spatial and temporal engagements with the world that surrounds them. A matter of "presence", they signal a passage away from simplistic notions of the image as a "transparent window on the world" (Mitchell 1984: 504) marking an entry into the terrain of performativity and transformation. More than ever we live our lives today in regimes of "visual co-presence" (Ito 2005) and images concur in the crafting of our lives.

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Social cooperative monitoring tool for the production of inclusive public spaces. 01/12/2018 - 31/05/2019

Abstract

The project explores inclusive planning and design, specifically related to the needs that disabled citizens have as users and creators of urban spaces. It questions how to plan, design and govern cities as growingly complex systems to ensure justice, equality, inclusion and sustainable growth. Particularly we try to understand how cities can enhance collaboration between public space users and public space agents through the use of participatory and collaborative digital tools in a most holistic way. Hence, we aim at reaching beyond the quantitative research and big data that mainly offer insights into what is happening. We rather focus on qualitative ways of understanding the how-s, and the why-s. For this purpose we design an exploratory model of four dimensions: a) human, b) special, c) technological, and d) relational level. This 4-dimensional model serves as a framework for conducting qualitative research within the urban practice by first defining specific societal challenges and questions that we aim to explore, and second by exploring them through a combination of methodological approaches. Based on the experimentation with diverse technologies, tools and techniques, conducted within four case studies in Maribor and Ljubljana, both Slovenia, we propose a combined methodological approach (CMA). The CMA is grounded on slow, small and deep-data oriented ethnography, complemented with behavioural mapping and post-occupancy evaluation, and as such offers a wide array of complementary and overlapping techniques and tools. It aims supporting stakeholders in gaining in-depth understanding of the people, space, technology and the relations between the three in order to be able to make informative decisions and appropriate responsive measures.

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Screening the Benelux: A comparative research project on film policy and (trans)national identity in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

Located at the heart of Western Europe and together serving as the direct predecessor of the European Union, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (the Benelux) are closely connected historically, politically and culturally. Nevertheless, they differ greatly in terms of national identity, making the countries particularly interesting to compare. This research project aims to make such a comparison by examining the role of the media in the contemporary construction of national and transnational identities. More specifically, the project focuses on how films and film policies in Belgium (Flanders and the French Community), the Netherlands and Luxembourg relate to (trans)national identities. The time frame of the project starts in 2009, when the Euro crisis began, and runs until 2018. The study relies on quantitative and qualitative research methods, making use of digital tools and involving analysis of films, policy documents, film (policy) production and circulation data, press documents and expert interviews. The project provides an innovative contribution to the international academic agenda due to its comparative and small media industries approach and its focus on the contemporary relationship between media and (trans)national identity in Western Europe.

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Scientific Chair Vandenbunder Baillet Latour Fund for Film Studies and Visual Culture. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

With the support of Inbev-Baillet Latour Fund this Chair was founded to stimulate the film education and research at the University of Antwerp, within the context of research group Visual Studies and Mediaculture and the master Film Studies and Visual Culture of the department Communication Sciences (Faculty Political and Social Sciences).

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BOF Sabbatical Leave 2018-2019 Prof. Luc Pauwels. 24/09/2018 - 23/09/2019

Abstract

1. Completing the second version of the successful and influential 'SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods', now as the lead editor (co-editor is Dawn Mannay). 2. Various Visual Data Production Field Trips (performing systematic recording, repeat photography, respondent-generated image production, visual ethnography) in urban environments in North America (New York, Las Vegas, Chicago), Asia (Japan, China, India) and Europe (EU member states) as part of a number of ongoing and new research projects (on globalization, border experiences, mediated cities, EU culture). 3. Make a start with a new - long overdue - monograph about 'Visual Methods' as commissioned and contracted by Oxford University Press in its 'Understanding Qualitative Research Series' (series editor: Patricia Leavy). 4. Finish articles and book chapters on: 'visual political communication' (Palgrave),' health related visual research' (TBD), 'scientific visualization' (Springer), 'street photography' (VS) , 'globalization', 'border studies', … 5. Further develop two new research lines: 'Visual Border Studies' and the 'Visual Culture of the EU'. 6. Continue my active involvement with international scientific organizations (IVSA, ISA, ICA,…) and scientific A1 journals 7. Ongoing supervision of approx. 10 PhD projects in various stages of completion. 8. Find some time to finally catch up with some core readings in the field of visual research, visual culture, science and technology and urban studies.

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Six Degrees of Image Creation: Developing a community-driven, photographic production and distribution cycle in the virtual and material world. 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

Social issues in a context that is conventionally been addressed as "developing" have been constant topics in both historical and contemporary documentary photography. Despite the diversity of topics covered though, the images themselves often stem from a generic, visually exotic and/or sensational template that does not take into account the visual culture, i.e. the understanding of the meaning of images and photographs, of the people photographed. The latter are consequently reduced to mere objects in one-sided reproductions of the same scenes. Additionally, the images mostly appear via exhibitions, magazines and websites that will very likely never reach the people portrayed, unless in the unlikely case that the photographer takes the initiative to again get in touch with them. The goal of this project is to visually describe socio-economically disadvantaged communities through personal stories of their members that together counter perceptions of the community as a monolithic group of homogeneous 'victims'. For this purpose, we develop a community-driven, photographic production and distribution cycle operating in the hybrid space of the virtual and material world. The objectives of the project are 1. To develop a participatory, ethnography-driven photographic approach in which personal stories within a socio-economically disadvantaged community are captured through digital images. 2. To investigate the impact of bouncing the digital images back to the community in a materialized form. 3. To explore the potential of an online platform to reach people within and outside the community, inform their perceptions of the community and generate social interactions. Specifically, audio-visual diptychs will be created to present, on the one hand, the daily life of the participants and, on the other hand, the personal story that they will tell starting from a self-chosen object and that will be audio-recorded. The diptychs will then be shared through a material track (by transforming prints of the images into street art) and a virtual track (by publishing them on Facebook). The case study of this research will focus on the waste-pickers community in Mumbai (India) in collaboration with Stree Mukti Sanghatana. The potential applicability of the methodology in different settings and different communities will be part of the evaluation of this research. The results of this project will be presented through an academic publication, a Facebook page and two exhibitions.

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Women in the Wave: A content and visual analysis of the representation of female characters in Yugoslav New Cinema and Black Wave Cinema. 15/07/2017 - 14/07/2018

Abstract

This project investigates how female characters were represented in films of the Yugoslav New Cinema and the Black Wave Cinema (1961-1972), in terms of the narrative, and the visual style. A main focus hereby is how in many of these films women are suffering from various kinds of violence. The Yugoslav New Cinema movement occurred in the former Socialist Federal Republic Yugoslavia, as part of world-spread New Wave movements, such as the French Nouvelle Vague. Black Wave Cinema then is a subdivision of the Yugoslav New Film, characterized by grim endings and a harsh critique towards the Communist regime. We approach the films of these movements from a gender and media studies perspective, with inspiration from feminist film theories and representation theories. The study also takes into account the sociopolitical context, namely the official gender equality policy of the Yugoslav state and its practices in society. This framework leads us to reformulate the overarching problem of the representation of female characters in New Yugoslav Cinema and Black Wave Cinema into two hypotheses and a research question: 1. If female characters are passionate, independent and progressive, they will eventually be punished cinematically for those transgressions by the remnants of the patriarchate within the course of the narration. (RH1) 2. The figure of the raped woman in the films is an allegory of a raped nation. (RH2) 3. Are the films under research confirming the binary stereotypes of female characters - either virgin or whore- or do they subvert these stereotypes? (RQ3) This set of hypotheses and research questions is operationalized in a quantitative content analysis (of 143 films WP1) and an in-depth qualitative content and visual analysis (of a smaller sample of 10 films WP2). Firstly (WP1), a database of films is constructed (WP1.1) and a first quantitative analysis (WP1.2) is executed to investigate basic content information: main parameters of female characters, numbers and types of violence against women, etc. Secondly, a qualitative analysis (WP2) is undertaken on a sample selected from the database. The qualitative content analysis (WP2.1) examines how women are violated: by rape, murder, beating or victimization; and whether and how they are stereotyped. The visual style analysis (WP2.2) looks into the same films analyzing filmic parameters such as camera movement and position, editing, light, music, composition and color and how these function within the narrative content.

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From the Peripheries of the Wired World: An ethnographic study of everyday digital visual practices in Havana (Cuba) and New Delhi (India). 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

Questioning the deterministic and Western-centric assumptions that underline the idea of "the digital" as a monolith capable of engendering similar reactions across the globe, the present project aims to offer an ethnographically driven, in-depth analysis of the spread of digital media from a transnational perspective. Focussing on two urban locations representing different types of fringes of the global spread of digital media (the cities of Havana, Cuba and New Delhi, India), this study will approach the topic from the particular vantage point of visual culture. The attention to digital visualities, i.e. to instances of production and consumption of images in a digital landscape, constitutes a concrete opportunity for studying what we could call paraphrasing Manovich (2009) practices of everyday digital life. The attention to concrete mundane engagements with digital image technologies will allow us to generate new insights into the multiple faces of the digital turn. Regarding the sites for the research both Cuba and India host a very rich visual culture, while offering also examples of different trajectories of digital development. While India constitutes a territory where digital technologies are scarce resources but at the same time also symbols for a rich and powerful future, Cuba is just presently witnessing to the public arrival of digital connectivity; it is facing its own digital turn. This is a unique moment in history for studying these contexts.

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Technologies of the displaced: governance, communication use and media experiences among Syrian refugees in Sanliurfa (South- Eastern Turkey) and Brussels (Belgium). 01/10/2016 - 30/09/2017

Abstract

This project studies the role of media and ICTs in the lives of refugees. These technologies, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops have become key resources for refugees. So far little systematic research has been done on this topic. Refugees are usually studied in terms of discourse and representation, i.e. as "passive", "voiceless" objects of study. This study, however, will take on an original, on-the-ground, perspective, looking at different stages of the refugee trajectory. Combining different methods (expert interviews, document analysis, personal surveys, observations and in-depth interviews), the study looks at media and communication infrastructures that are provided to refugees, as well as their actual needs, uses and experiences. Attention is also paid to structural constraints, governance issues, and the tension between human rights and securitization. This is connected to broader theoretical debates on cosmopolitanism and identity. Two cases will be studied: adult refugees in a refugee camp in Sanliurfa (South Eastern Turkey) and adult refugees in Brussels (Belgium), each representing different populations and distinct national political contexts, as well as different communication infrastructures. Because of its potential to contribute to the living situations of refugees, the project is supported by crucial partners: the local Sanliurfa camp, UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), Fedasil, and Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen.

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Cultures of Spectacle. An interdisciplinary platform for historical research on film, theatre, dance and musical performance. 01/01/2016 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

This scientific research community (WOG) aims to bring together researchers from different disciplines and institutions to invite them to compare and discuss the methodological grounds and contents of their research on aspects of our culture of spectacles (TV, Film Theatre,…). This may lead to a state of the art of this broad and multidimensional field but also to the formulation of new inter- trans- or multidisciplinary research questions and hypotheses.

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Researching the new urban experience: a Transnational Multi- Method Study of the Intersections between Direct and Mediated Visual Enactments in Cosmopolitan Contexts. 01/01/2016 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

This research project aims to produce an in-depth, multilayered analysis of the contemporary urban experience addressed in particular from the point of view of the cultural changes that have been made possible through the greater involvement contemporary cities have with mediatized flows of information and communication. More concretely this project will seek to produce a better understanding of the ways in which multiple intersections between direct and mediated experiences of the city (enacted via media representations, screens in public places, image sharing, augmented reality and geomedia, etc.) influence social actors' uses and experiences of the urban space.

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Scientific Chair Vandenbunder Baillet Latour Fund for Film Studies and Visual Culture. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2018

Abstract

With the support of Inbev-Baillet Latour Fund this Chair was founded to stimulate the film education and research at the University of Antwerp, within the context of research group Visual Studies and Mediaculture and the master Film Studies and Visual Culture of the department Communication Sciences (Faculty Political and Social Sciences).

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Made in Flanders? A research project on contemporary film policy and national identity in Flanders (1999-2015). 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2018

Abstract

This research project focuses on the relationship between national identity and contemporary film policy in Flanders. The aim of the project is 1) to investigate the (regional, national and supranational) government film policy framework and to analyse the role of film policy in 2) the production context of films; 3) the promotion, distribution and exhibition of films; and 4) the sort of films and the representations that are produced. Throughout the analyses, the complex relationships with Flemish identity take a central place. At the same time, several other contemporary film policy issues (e.g. transnational dimensions and digital challenges) are taken into account and the Flemish situation is put into a comparative and European perspective. The relations between film, policy and national identity will be explored through multi-methodological quantitative and qualitative research, involving policy documents analysis, analysis of film (policy) production and circulation data, expert interviews and textual film analysis. Apart from its relevance for recent Flemish and Belgian film historiography, the project provides an innovative contribution to the international academic agenda by focusing on the largely neglected field of film policy studies (particularly within the broader framework of the established field of media policy). Moreover, the project contributes to a better understanding of the contemporary relationship between media and national identity in Western Europe.

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Research in the field of film studies. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

Cinema 3C : approaching cinema culture from comparative, conceptual and convergence perspectives. Cinema 3C consists of 3 research strands: with a focus on reflection and analysis of ongoing (comparative) research and international publications. 1. Comparative perspectives: cross-national and -continental comparisons of cinema cultures in Belgium, Spain, Mexico and Colombia. 2. Conceptual perspectives: from the concept of 'audience' to 'spectator' and back. 3. Convergence perspectives: film audiences in the era of digital convergence.

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The Media-Tourist: 'Mediation', Image-Making, and Enchantment in Tourists' Experiences of Antwerp, Naples and Helsinki. 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

The present project aims to offer an ethnography-based analysis of the dialectic between ICT "mediated" ("virtual") and "unmediated" (direct, bodily, "real") experiences of the urban space in the context of tourist practices. Research will be conducted in Antwerp, Naples and Helsinki hence offering an innovative transnational European perspective on the subject.

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Movie-going at the docks. A media historical comparative analysis of cinema cultures in Antwerp (Flanders) and Rotterdam (Netherlands) (1910-1990). 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

The central aim of the project is to explain the diverging cinema cultures in the Low Countries, by a long-term comparative analysis of cinema cultures in the port cities Antwerp and Rotterdam, seen in relation to the formation of social identities, particularly in the context of (de)pillarization.

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Visual Dimensions of Globalization and Cultural Exchange in Cities. 15/09/2014 - 14/07/2017

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Erasmus Mundus. UA provides Erasmus Mundus research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Comtemporary screen cultures in South-Eastern Europe. A multilevel research project on film and television industries, cultures and audiences in comparison with the European Union. 09/09/2014 - 14/07/2017

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Erasmus Mundus. UA provides Erasmus Mundus research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Defying social invisibility: a study of empowerment and social intervention in the field of contemporary digital imaging practices in South Africa. 31/08/2014 - 30/06/2017

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Erasmus Mundus. UA provides Erasmus Mundus research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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The social sciences and the humanities facing the challenge of social and cultural local development: enhancement of heritage preservation. 01/04/2014 - 31/03/2019

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand VLIR. UA provides VLIR research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Conflicts on screen: an exploratory study of migrant media in Europe in relation to ethno-political conflicts since 1980 01/02/2014 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

This study deals with the links between migration, (fiction) media and ethno-political conflicts. Many migrants in Europe are actively involved in conflicts in their "homelands", but we know little about the way they relate to it in their production of fiction (e.g. films). This project lays the basis to fill this gap by (1) collecting a database of relevant productions and (2) conducting a content analysis of a selection of productions.

Researcher(s)

  • Promotor: Smets Kevin

Research team(s)

DICIS - Digital Cinema Studies. 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

This is a fundamental research project financed by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). The project was subsidized after selection by the FWO-expert panel. The objective of the FWO's Research projects is to advance fundamental scientific research.

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Defying Social Invisibility: A Transnational Study of Empowerment And Social Intervention in the Field of Contemporary Digital Imaging Practices. 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

Digital images filter today most of our experiences of ourselves and of the world surrounding us. We consume them daily through our computers and mobile phones and, given in particular the spread of latest-generation mobile phones, we also constantly produce them. It is estimated that every day 6.7 billion people view the world through their own lens. Despite their ubiquitous character digital images are, however, conventionally approached as a matter of entertainment detached from the material and social conditions of our lives. Questioning such stances, this study looks at digital imaging as an instrument of empowerment and social intervention. Focusing on a number of image-based projects in Belgium, India and South Africa that aim to combat social marginalization, the study explores the manifold ways in which digital images can actually bring about change. To what extent can they help bringing visibility to marginalized groups or groups at risk of social exclusion? The innovative aspect of this study is that it addresses questions of digital empowerment though a specific attention to images, a language with enormous potential to favour communication across boundaries. The study will also give birth to an integrated methodological model for the study of digital imaging at global level in which participant-observation, interviews, audio-visual recordings and online ethnography will be integrated into a coherent whole.

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Belgian cinema from a postcolonial perspective. An interdisciplinary study of interculturality in Belgian cinema from 1960 till now with a focus on Belgian representations of Congo. 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2017

Abstract

The main objective of the research project is to analyze Belgian cinema – particularly those films dealing with our former colonies and intercultural films – through the postcolonial lens, and so (1) to dialogically contribute to both cinema studies and postcolonial studies and (2) to contribute to the historiography of Belgian cinema.

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Conflict, fiction and identity: a multi-method study of the production, content and reception of Kurdish television fiction in a transnational context. 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

The general objective is to conduct a comparative study on the role of popular fiction – narrowed down here to popular fiction that is primarily produced for television – in the negotiation of pan-Kurdish identity against the background of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict. Looking at popular fiction in a cohesive way, the project includes sub-studies (cf. research packages) on the production, content and reception of Kurdish fiction.

Researcher(s)

  • Promotor: Meers Philippe
  • Co-promotor: Vande Winkel Roel
  • Fellow: Smets Kevin

Research team(s)

Francqui Chair 2013-2014 Prof. Vinzenz Hediger. 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2014

Abstract

Proposed by the University, the Francqui Foundation each year awards two Francqui Chairs at the UAntwerp. These are intended to enable the invitation of a professor from another Belgian University or from abroad for a series of ten lessons. The Francqui Foundation pays the fee for these ten lessons directly to the holder of a Francqui Chair.

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Research 'Collection Audiovisual Data. " 01/02/2013 - 30/06/2013

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand VAF. UA provides VAF research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Digital screen culture to the test: a large scale study on young film audiences in Flanders. 01/01/2013 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

This research project focuses upon young people's engagement with digital screen culture in Flanders. Although the audience, and young people in particular, is often explicitly (or implicitly) present in discourses of the film industry and policy makers, large scale up-to-date surveys of audiences are lacking. Therefore, we propose a study on young film audiences, as a major shift in media and film culture has become manifest: young people are digital natives, born into a digital media environment, living in a fast developing world of downloads and streaming video.

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Cultural Displays and Encounters in Globalizing Urban Areas. A Study of Visual Expressions of Ethnic/National Identity Versus the Emergence of a Transnational Attitude in the European Public Realm. 01/01/2013 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

This project proposes to interrogate the visual dimensions of globalization and acculturation processes (and their opposite forces) as expressed in material culture elements of a varied nature, as well as through visible and recordable aspects of human behavior in urban public spaces. It aims to enrich and complement the more abstract discourse of globalization and transnationalism with empirically grounded insights regarding concrete expressions and enactments of cultural encounters in urban hotspots.

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Mastering the curtains. An artistic study into the relation of visual arts with heritage, propaganda and censorship in Iran. 01/01/2013 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

This is an artistic photographic research project on the relationship of visual arts with heritage, propaganda and censorship in Iran. The study follows two tracks: 1. the Taziyeh, a cultural expression in Iran incorporated as a propaganda instrument by the regime and 2. the censorship of the baha'ism and the demise of the associated heritage. The photographic study analyzes the possibilities for critical representation within visual arts of both tracks.

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Scientific Chair Vandenbunder InBev-Baillet Latour Fund for Film Studies and Visual Culture. 01/10/2012 - 30/09/2015

Abstract

With the support of Inbev-Baillet Latour Fund this Chair was founded to stimulate the film education and research at the University of Antwerp, within the context of research group Visual Studies and Mediaculture and the master Film Studies and Visual Culture of the department Communication Sciences (Faculty Political and Social Sciences).

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South-African screen cultures between convergence and globalisation. A multivlevel research project on media industries and audiences. 19/08/2012 - 14/07/2015

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Erasmus Mundus. UA provides Erasmus Mundus research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Stimulating film and media in Palestine. The enhancement of the media studies bachelor and the development of a film making minor at the Media Department of the Al Quds University. 01/12/2011 - 30/11/2013

Abstract

There is a clear need for a high level specialized media and film education in Palestine. Currently many of the film makers in Palestine had their training abroad. In the very sensitive political situation it is important that Palestinians produce their own documentaries and fiction, creating their own voice and representation. The main objectives of the project are twofold and complementary: 1. The enhancement of the existing programmes in media 2. The feasibility study for and the establishment of a new minor in film making within the media studies bachelors.

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Scientific visualisation and visual scientific literacy: a study of new imaging practices and their impact on knowledge building and communication. 18/09/2011 - 17/03/2012

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Erasmus Mundus. UA provides Erasmus Mundus research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Visualising Experiences: An Artistic Research Project on the Perception of Comtemporary Abstract Art. 01/01/2011 - 31/12/2012

Abstract

This project is a practice-based research on the use of context in the presentation of abstract work. The focus lies on the question how the mental context and the use of different narratives can influence the experience of the spectator towards the abstract (and empty) painting. Artistically this is an attempt to give social relevance to abstract paintings - and at the same time it is a research on the level of 'autonomy' of abstract work. Toon Leën is a painter and video-artist and combines these two media for this research.

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Project website

Media literacy, active citizenship and cultural participation. An exploratory analysis. 30/11/2010 - 30/09/2011

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Flemish Public Service. UA provides the Flemish Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Antwerp Cinema City. A media-historical investigation into the post-war evolution of film exhibition and reception in the city of Antwerp (1945-2010) with a focus on the Rex-group. 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2013

Abstract

The project proposes a multimethodological investigation into the post-war evolution of film exhibition and reception in the city of Antwerp (1945-2010) with a focus on the Rex-group. A systematic analysis of the development of Antwerp's cinema landscape and a large-scale reception study of press and audience discourses allow to link institutional history to the moviegoing experience.

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Cinema & Diaspora. A comparative study into ethnic film cultures in Antwerp: Indian, Northern African, Turkish and Jewish cinema. 01/01/2009 - 31/12/2012

Abstract

This project investigates the film culture(s) of diaspora in Belgium. A case study analyses and compares the film cultures of Indian, North African, Turkish and Jewish minorities living in the city of Antwerp. The structural analysis of film distribution and exploitation is combined with a reception analysis. Special attention is given to the contributions of such film cultures to the construction of cultural identities.

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Project website

(Self) Images of postcolonial West and Central Africa. African and European cinematographic representation in comparative perspective 01/10/2008 - 30/09/2012

Abstract

The PhD project investigates the self-image of West- and Central Africa as it has been presented in the post-colonial narrative films from 1963 until 2007. It compares these representations with European cinematic representations from the same period. The comparison allows for a cultural-philosophical critique on Eurocentric representations of 'the Other' starting from postcolonial film-studies, post-structural anthropology and deconstruction philosophy.

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Cinema & diaspora. A comparative study into ethnic film cultures in Antwerp: Bollywood, Northern African, Turkish and Jewish cinema. 01/07/2008 - 31/12/2012

Abstract

This project investigates the film culture(s) of diaspora in Belgium. A case study analyses and compares the film cultures of Indian, North African, Turkish and Jewish minorities living in the city of Antwerp. The structural analysis of film distribution and exploitation is combined with a reception analysis. Special attention is given to the contributions of such film cultures to the construction of cultural identities.

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Project website

André Vandenbunder and film studies: towards a valorisation of the academic archive of a pioneer of film theory and semiotics in Flanders. 01/03/2008 - 31/12/2009

Abstract

André Vandenbunder (1918-2002) was professor of semiotics at the former UIA and lecturer in film analysis and semiotics at the Filmmuseum Brussels. The goal of this project is twofold: 1. the electronic and annotated contextualised print publication of the works of Vandenbunder on film semiotics and analysis. 2. The scientific and social contextualisation of his work in the Flemish/Belgian and international setting.

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(Self)Images of postcolonial West and Central Africa. An explorative study on African and European cinematographic representation in comparative perspective. 20/02/2008 - 31/12/2009

Abstract

The explorative project wants to lay the foundations for a study of the self-image of West- and Central Africa as it has been presented in the post-colonial narrative films from 1963 until 2007. It compares these representations with European cinematic representations from the same period. The comparison allows for a cultural-philosophical critique on Eurocentric representations of 'the Other' starting from postcolonial filmstudies, post-structural anthropology and deconstruction philosophy.

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Developing a more visual and multimodal methodology for decoding web sites as social and cultural resources. 01/01/2007 - 31/12/2010

Abstract

The project aims to develop a more culturally adapted multimodal analysis of web sites as one of the more hybrid formats and faces of the internet. Such a tool will allow social and cultural scientists to further decode and explore the internet as a rich cultural data source and it also will allow them to become more culturally savy and expressive when using the web as a medium for science communications.

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Mechelen, an enlightened city. Cinema exploitation and film perception in historical perspective. 01/09/2006 - 30/06/2007

Abstract

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The animated film sector in Flanders: tradition and renewal under scrutiny. 10/03/2005 - 31/08/2005

Abstract

The central aim of this project is: to draw a blueprint of the animation film sector in Flanders. This aim is achieved trough the following research questions: Is there such a thing as a Flemish animated film sector and can it be defined? What is the profile of the professionals in animation? What is the profile of the companies and their activities in animation? What are the opinions of the different actors within the sector on their proper sector? What is the relation between education and profession? How does the government deal with animation? What are the crucial data of the subsidized animation production? How can the Flemish animation be situated within the European context? Part one is a database, with an inventory of the actors in animation. Part two is a survey among professionals, companies and students. Part three consists of interviews with main players in the field. The figures / data are the foruth part: subsidy files from the Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds and the Administration Media (budget, percentage of subsidies etc), figures on the European animation industry (figures from Cartoon Forum en Cartoon Movie, Eurimages and European Audiovisual Observatory). The literature survey gathers insights from existing research and theoretical frameworks. The project formulates explicit policy options to strengthen the animation in Flanders.

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Screen culture between ideology, economics and experience. A study on the social role of film exhibition and film consumption in Flanders (1895-2004) in interaction with modernity and urbanisation. 01/01/2005 - 31/12/2008

Abstract

The central aim of the project is: A diachronical analysis of the social role of screen culture in Flanders (1895-2004) as a result of the tensions between commercial and ideological forces (in particular 'pillarisation') and the actual consumption, through a study of cinemas and film consumption in interaction with modernity public space and urbanisation. This central aim is realised in three research parts: PART 1 This part consists of an extended inventory of existing and historical cinemas in Flanders (1895-2004) with attention for the geographical distribution and the relations between the commercial and the 'pillarised' circuit. PART 2 Analysis of the interaction between ideology (in particular 'pillarisation'), economics and screen culture through diachronical research on cinemas, film exhibition and programming in metropolitan (Antwerp and Ghent), provincial (Deinze, Lier) and rural context (Geel, location to be determined). P ART 3 Analysis of the interaction between ideology, economics and film consumption through historical audience research on the role of cinemas and film consumption (cinema, video, DVD, television, internet) in the experience of leisure culture in Antwerp, Ghent, Deinze, Lier, Geel and a location to be determined.

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Invigorating scientific and social aspects of film and image culture in Antwerp and Flanders. 01/01/2004 - 31/12/2007

Abstract

This project aims to continue and further develop the current 'Film and Image Culture in Antwerp and Flanders' project (PA-UA 2003-2005) which was set up to stimulate academic education and research in this domain and to invigorate ways of cooperation among different scientific, cultural and artistic institutions in the area. The core activity comprises conducting and further developing the highly successful Master Program in Film Studies and Image Culture, which is to date a unique offering in Flanders. Also further effort will be put in the cultivation of different research lines that will explore the visual both in fundamental and more applied ways. Scientific and cultural events (conferences, exhibitions, workshops and festivals) will be developed to further connect to various specialised and lay audiences.

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Research into the covering of newcomers in the written media. 15/10/2003 - 15/12/2003

Abstract

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Visual methodes and techniques in empirical social and cultural research. A taxonomic-methodological study. 01/01/2003 - 31/12/2004

Abstract

This project aims to offer an encompassing and up to date theoretical and methodological framework for the use of visuals in social and cultural scientific research. It will be accomplished by performing a taxonomic study of current and potential research approaches as well as by developing an integrated model for deciding how and when to apply certain techniques. The project will take into account current evolutions in theory and visual production techniques as well as build upon the rich but highly dispersed traditions of visual social science.

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