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HUMA Doctoral Seminar | Fernanda Pinto de Almeida | History writing as a practice of place: cinema’s spatial stories | Weds. Aug 31, 4pm SAST
How does one write a history of – and from – a particular place? How does one connect spaces and narrative? This talk explores how a particular space suggests an approach to academic writing as well as how storytelling ‘takes place’. Based on my encounters with old cinema houses in South Africa during my PhD research, I will consider places as formed by the stories that represent them, shaping notions of experience so valuable and yet contentious in historical writing. The first part of the presentation considers cinema in Cape Town through engaging de Certeau’s notion of a “practiced place”: as a space of racially policed leisure that occasioned bureaucratic and political dissent, cinema offers us a lens onto spatial histories of urban segregation, forced removals and sites of public disobedience. The second part considers how attention to space accounts for a renewed attention to inactive cinema theaters in the continent, to creative processes of architectural renovation and a scholarly view on cinema’s afterlives.

Bio: Fernanda Pinto de Almeida is a cultural historian who is currently a Next Generation Scholar and postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Humanities Research at University of the Western Cape, where she co-convenes its Documentary Film Programme. She has written on cinema in the twentieth-century Cape Town and is interested more broadly in histories of media and popular culture.

Aug 31, 2022 04:00 PM in Johannesburg

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