by Gil Toffell, Learning on Screen

Welcome to ViewFinder Issue 118: Memory and Audiovisual Media


This term we are looking at Memory and Audiovisual Media. Following the publication of key texts in the social sciences, humanities, and arts some two decades ago, multiple academic disciplines have seen a sustained focus on human capacities of memory. In this issue we have looked to this vital field of memory studies to provide a platform for some of the current thinking around the role of memory and practices of memorialisation in the production and consumption of audiovisual media.

An abundant edition of fifteen individual articles, issue 118 ranges across topics with reflections on: the politics of memory in individual texts, memory practices of the online and digital world, Holocaust imagery, archival memory, memory as the site of a collision between the personal and the political, and methodologies of curating documentary testimony and giving voice to marginalised memory.

Although just a taste of what is on offer, highlights pointing to the rich diversity of approaches taken by contributors include: ‘From It's a Sin to Veneno: Queer Memory on Television’ by Anamarija Horvat; drawing on her recent research to examine how television has participated in the creation of queer memory. ‘BBC4 and the Curation of Music Memory’ by Alex Hastie and Michelle Newman; an important exploration of the role of BBC4 in the construction of cultural memory through music documentary. ‘Memory as Practice: Editing Claude Lanzmann’s Location Outtakes’ by Sue Vice and Dominic Williams; a highly innovative piece imagining a film essay constructed from Shoah's outtakes. And, by Zoë Viney Burgess, ‘I’m here, but you can’t see me’: Women amateur filmmakers, attribution and the archive’; a fascinating feminist analysis of archival cataloguing and the elision of women filmmakers.

As guest editor of ViewFinder it’s been my absolute pleasure to take stewardship of the publication and bring these articles together. In our next issue, 119, we will be exploring the present and future of audiovisual education.

Enjoy issue 118!