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Accepted Paper:

Between Revolution and Transition: Film, Memory and the Production of Knowledge in Contemporary Spain & Portugal  


Lee Douglas (New York University-Madrid)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on a collaborative project that explores memories of revolution and transition in contemporary Spain and Portugal, this paper explores how ethnographic engagement with visual archives and, by extension, forms of co-creation produce knowledge about the past.

Paper long abstract:

During the 1970s, both Spain and Portugal experienced processes of radical political change that put an end to fascist regimes present in both contexts. In Portugal, anti-colonial liberation movements in Africa translated into calls for revolution that ultimately put an end to the Salazar dictatorship. In contrast, Franco's regime in Spain came to an end via a negotiated transition that promoted consensus over radical change, thus ushering in a long period of collective forgetting. Drawing on a film project that approaches visual archives as sites for the production of alternative forms of historical knowledge, this paper considers how memories of these two events can be accessed, excavated and retrieved through ethnographic engagement with audiovisual traces of political change. It considers how filmmaking is not a solitary act, but rather a potentially co-creative one, in which personal and collective narratives of the past are not only retrieved, but also produced through the process of accessing, watching, narrating and editing footage. The author uses the concept of montaje - cutting, editing, montaging - to consider how alternative historical narratives are produced with, through and alongside the materials that inhabit public and personal archives containing audiovisual traces of events from the past.

Panel P082
New Horizons for Anthropological Authorship: Co-creation and the Production of Knowledge in Times of Global Change