Performative feedback filmmaking: participatory documentary and creative self-representation in the community

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Holly, Michael
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University College Cork
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Between 2019 and 2022 I documented and observed various activities at a rural Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club using video and sound as part of my PhD in Film and Screen Media through Creative Practice at University College Cork. The result of this long- term fieldwork became an exhibition of video, sound, installation and discussion at Uillinn, West Cork Arts Centre in 2022. My method, which I call “Performative Feedback Filmmaking”, developed a unique, creative, socially-engaged form of nonfiction filmmaking by drawing from a combination of specific disciplines and techniques, including participatory art, ethnographic filmmaking, sensory ethnography, and video installation. The development of this methodology was informed by extended research into historical and contemporary overlaps between ethnographic filmmaking and contemporary art practices. The subjects of my creative film project are also participants, whose input was vital to the development of the methodology and the final creative work. After three years of participatory filmmaking with the GAA community, I assembled the results as an exhibition of video, sound and installation at a regional public art gallery. This exhibition became a space for dialogue, discussion and talks for four weeks between April and May of 2022, revealing the possibility for this innovative combination of documentary filmmaking, participatory art and video installation as a toolbox for reflexivity and inter-community mediation.
Sensory ethnography , Participatory filmmaking , Performative Feedback Filmmaking
Holly, M. 2023. Performative feedback filmmaking: participatory documentary and creative self-representation in the community. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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