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The Invisible City

Photography by Andrej Vasilenko

What makes a good workshop?

Our workshops benefit from the distinctive origins of the festival itself. Way back in 2005 a bunch of, then, post-graduate students in the anthropology department of University College London. were fasciated by the use of documentary film as a tool for research and fieldwork and as a teaching aid. They were also avid film buffs. How did documentary film differ from other types of film and did the nomenclature distinction count for anything? What cultural and political insights did it provide? What aesthetic revolutions could it provoke? What sort of changes in social vision could it aspire to? How entertaining could it be?

A series of public screening and discussions were programmed and held in the main lecture room of the anthropology department – much to the resistance of the department itself. With an audience made up of students, filmmakers, academics and producers the results were exciting, lively, dialogic and very popular. These were our first ‘conversations in film’. A phrase ‘borrowed’ by others since.

An LIDF workshop is also a conversation; collaborative and non-didactic. Its aim to produce practical knowledge, rich insights and creatively satisfying outcomes. Throughout great emphasis is placed on dialogue, teamwork and critical feedback.

To achieve these goals the workshops combine theory and practice and they rely upon the range of skills evident in our committed and enthusiastic trainers. The workshops aim to be clear and focused geared towards meaningful and satisfying outcomes for all.


London in Motion: Urban Documentary Film Workshop

Venue: SOAS

27 April 2019

Run in conjunction with our new partner SOAS the workshop is designed to be a mixture of theory and practice with special emphasis on refugees, urban theory, cityscapes, and new migration. The workshop will produce 10 short films. During the workshop students will learn to apply the basic principles and tools of documentary film making to research/project needs.

This is an experimental course. It aims to examine how ‘thinking’ with, and ‘through’, images can produce insight with regard to certain anthropological and sociological questions. In the process deepening the medium’s analytical power and enhancing its audience reception. To this end we will examine how a range of media may be utilised to produce rich insights and creatively satisfying outcomes. Together we will develop short narratives about contemporary London. Great emphasis will be placed throughout on teamwork, and critical feedback.

We will focus on the experiences and impact of refugees and new immigration: How has London changed its looks and appearances, how have refugees and new migration altered everyday life in (some parts of) the city, how do refugees and new migrants live, work, and move in and through the city, and what is their own experience and perception of living in a global city like London?

Through the documentary workshop we want to explore the idea that there are different (but also similar and overlapping) parallel ‘Londons’: immigrants inhabit and imagine London in their own manner, creating specific networks and mental maps of the city, and interacting with other Londoners in culturally specific ways.

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