Accepted paper:

Confronting success: film narratives of social contestation

Author:

Jorge Grau Rebollo (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper, I propose to explore some particular audiovisual examples in order to consider the relevance of art, mainstream films and material culture in confronting uncertainty and both exposing social disenchantment and promoting active contestation.

Paper long abstract:

The notion of "good life" appears in many different times and contexts as the epitome of a brighter future, a path to social success and a way of personal fulfilment. However, such notion is always shaped under specific narrative forms, where material culture -and specifically art- has played a prominent role. Hence, films, due to their extraordinary capacity of penetration into diverse and massive audiences, have been often selected as the preferred vehicle for materializing such expectations and narratives. Nevertheless, we can notice that art and film are (and have been) also used as a device for the exposure of uncertainty, disenchantment or broken hopes. In material culture, visions of contestation and dissent do face and challenge images of success and "good life". Nowadays, when public contestations to the economic crisis and the dominant neoliberal thought fills all range of graphic and audiovisual media, it is a particularly good time to analyze concrete examples of how disappointment, failure but also contestation are displayed and narrated. In this presentation, I propose to use some particular examples of Spanish films as empirical repertoire for considering the relevance of art, mainstream films and material culture in confronting uncertainty and both exposing social discontent and promoting active contestation.

panel W018
Confronting uncertainty: imagination in art and material culture