Accepted Paper:

'Weights and Measures': a selection of moving images from the British Empire and Commonwealth Collection  
Jacqueline Maingard (University of Bristol)

Paper short abstract:

My short film, 'Weights and Measures', created through practice research, experiments with critical ways to expose the histories that colonial film holdings record and represent. I am collaborating with a music composer in order to increase the film's impact. I would value feedback through the RAI.

Paper long abstract:

'Weights and Measures' is a short film (6’38) created through practice-based research using film footage held in the British Empire and Commonwealth Collection, Bristol (c.1930s-1950s). It takes its title from a Central African Film Unit film, 'Weights and Measures' (1959). The film is constructed of sequences organised thematically, including images of subjects looking directly at the camera, infrastructural works and hard labour, forms of transport, marching and military drills, and landscape surveys. I initially conceived the film as a pilot project in order to experiment with making colonial film holdings more public and trialling critical ways to expose the histories they record and represent. The sequences I selected worked together thematically, but the fact that the images were silent suggested an added layer (or layers) of sound would potentially draw out critical meanings and create greater impact. I am currently working with the British-Nigerian composer and performer, Juwon Ogungbe, to create a musical score. We collaborated very successfully on a UK tour in 2014-15 of two colonial films, 'De Voortrekkers' (1916) and 'Siliva the Zulu' (1927), with the live accompaniment of his original scores. I expect that for the film work-in-progress workshop the project will be in the post-production stage with a musical soundtrack added and possibly a fuller sound design to be developed. I would value feedback on the film’s form, its soundtrack, and the film’s potential as a prototype for creating themed exposures of colonial film holdings in the future.


Panel W05a
Work-in-Progress: Archive
  Session 1 Tuesday 7 March, 2023, -