CFP - Third International Conference on Balkan Cinema

organised by the “G.Oprescu” Institute of Art History, Bucharest.

Saturday 30 December 2017 by en

Third International Conference on Balkan Cinema. The Great War(s): Our Story. Bucharest, Romania: 8 – 10 May, 2018. CALL FOR PAPERS.

Following on the second International Conference on Balkan Cinema that took place in Belgrade in 2017, The Great War(s): Our Story aims to explore how the Great War and other conflicts in the region have been narrated through cinema.

The 3rd International Conference on Balkan cinema will focus on moving images made by filmmakers both from within and outside the Balkans in order to highlight the connections and differences between these war narratives that have at times coalesced into “our story”. The term “our” can refer self-reflexively to a view from the Balkans as both a unified but also more dispersed space, but also to a range of identities: victims or perpetrators, civilians or soldiers, women and children in devastated cities and in the wasteland of the countryside, or men on the front, the generations of participants or the post-generations. These war narratives told from different perspectives of the involved parties eventually challenge History or work with it, or bring together diverse and often confronting and competing national histories.

The “G. Oprescu” Institute of Art History in Bucharest hosts the event in commemoration of 1914-18 War, but also as the opportunity to analyse and map out the rich range of insights offered by cinematic images of war and recounted through multiple narratives of wars in the region – from the Balkan Wars to the breakup of former Yugoslavia. War has been one of those perennially rich topics since the beginning of cinema, narrated through a wide range of genre guises, from documentaries to fiction films, war spectacles, historical films, melodramas, musicals etc.

For instance, documentary war footage is a key component in historiography, while fictional portrayals of war are source of entertainment and pleasure, as well as material for the recognition of trauma, suffering, and victimisation. Nowadays, popular archival documentaries or docufictions have transformed films on history into “memory making films”, by showing that cinematic narratives of the past and present wars are important factors in the politics of remembering and forgetting, and constituents of collective/individual/national memory and identity.

Being part of a series, the conference aims to further develop transnational scholarship, transcend Balkanism and exoticism, and offer critical explorations of historical and contemporary manifestations of South Eastern European cinemas. It also helps the building of the transnational community of scholars working on the cinemas of the Balkans, South/Eastern Europe, the borders and neighbouring regions such as Central Europe or Near East, works of diaspora or communities in exile, spanning from early cinema on nitrate stock to contemporary digital cinema; and dealing with a range of themes set in the present or the past.

A range of possible themes for conference papers includes, but is not limited to :
- The First and Second World Wars as the cornerstones of cinema in the Balkans
- War and conflict - a typical Balkan topic?
- Representation and Self-representation of the Balkans
- War and archives
- Changing concepts of war, changing narratives of war.
- History and memory in cinematic war narratives
- Intertextuality and transmediality of the past, present and future
- Representing/deconstructing “the nation” on screen
- Cultural memory and Balkan cinema
- Reading and re-writing film (hi)stories
- History, Military and Film Archives
- Multidirectional memory in cinema

Special event. Public lecture

Prof. Dr Dina Iordanova (Film Studies Department, University of St.Andrews)

Keynote speakers

Prof. Dr Nevena Daković (Faculty of Dramatic Arts, University of Arts, Belgrade)

Prof. Dr Dominique Nasta (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Please send 250 words and a short CV (Abstract proposals, names, affiliations and short CVs should be sent as ONE Word document) to the conference committee at: by February 25th 2018.

Best wishes,

The Committee

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