Research Projects

Film Archives, Cultural History and The Digital Turn in Latin America.

 

This study explores issues of collection appraisal and international policy development within the context of nationally specific social, legal economic, and political terms of archival management in Latin America. I have collected and analyzed data deriving from six state/public funded film archives in Latin America: Museo del Cine Pablo Ducrós (Argentina), Fundación Patrimonio Fílmico Colombiano (Colombia), Servicio Oficial de Difusión Radio Eléctrica (SODRE) and Cinemateca Uruguaya (Uruguay), and Cineteca Nacional and Filmoteca UNAM (Mexico). I am in the process of incorporating information from the ICAIC (Cuba), and collecting data from Central American countries. The research discusses how these institutions face the challenge of conserving and preserving a backlog of analog materials as they deal with the pressure to transition to mass storage technologies and digitization. In doing so, I place specific emphasis on the size and the content of the collections as well as take into account the respective archive’s current practices for digital preservation. This study compares similarities and differences of administrative models in order to discuss issues on information governance that currently shape their archival policies and practices, and the repercussions of coping with the fast pace of digital debates.

This study makes an important contribution toward enhancing sustainability and promoting international collaboration in the development of standard practices of digitization and digital preservation. Given that the fast pace of technological changes would make the discussion on digital practices an analysis quickly outdated, my purpose is to turn this research into a digital humanities project that will provide an interface whereby exchange and collaboration among archives in Latin America and elsewhere will be fostered. Ultimately, the project will become a toolkit that outlines the best digitization and digital preservation practices. Its digital interface will provide a space for dialogue that will help set standards that favor common practices in this particular geographical zone. Built from dialogue and tested practices, these standards respond to the unique nature of their collections, resources, constituencies and representational obligations.

 

National Memory/Transnational Circulation: Colombian Film Production in Recent Years.

 

By revising the work of a group of filmmakers who are currently based in various European countries, this research interrogates the traces of the national in their work, their modes of production and distribution. Current Colombian film production is characterized by an obsession with landscape, stories of return, and an anxiety for international recognition. Contrary to this, the work of filmmakers encompassed in this research turns to the archive, and to film production in analog formats (Felipe Guerrero, Juan Soto and Camilo Restrepo) to revisit the haptic nature of cinema. Others such as Laura Huertas contend the legacy of colonization by redefining video art in order to broach new discourses of decolonization. Foregrounding questions of place and positionality, these filmmakers unsettle established narratives of national cinema though counter hegemonic perspectives.

This research has been partially forwarded with the Colombian Ministry of Culture Grant for Research on Cinema (2014).