Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 29, No.18

July 28, 2005


Visible Evidence of media


From Aug. 21 to 25, Concordia will host Visible Evidence XII, an international conference on the role of film, video and other media in the reflection and construction of social reality.

The event will draw scholars from a large variety of disciplines, from film studies to law, from architecture to women’s studies.

“The response has been very exciting,” said Thomas Waugh, Film Studies professor and one of the organizers. “We have submissions from six continents and are expecting about 250 participants.”

The diversity of the conference program is remarkable, judging from the titles. Home Movies, Aboriginal Mediations, Copyright, Television and Docudrama, the Internet and the Self – these are only few of the topics to be addressed during the five-day event.

Among the speakers from Concordia, Cinema professor Marielle Nitoslawska will talk about the Privatization of Collective Memory, and Ross Higgins, from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, will discuss the New Narratives of the Sexual Self: Gay Men on the Web.

Media studies graduate student Robyn Fadden will take part in a panel called Missing Bodies, while communications professor Kim Sawchuk will present her Salvation Works Project.

Concordia filmmakers and communication studies professors Daniel Cross, Liz Miller and Tim Schwab will participate in a workshop called Documentary / Democracy.

The workshops are a new element for the conference. As Waugh explained, they reflect the strong documentary tradition in Canadian cinema and aim to “get theoreticians and practitioners talking to each other.”

The keynote speaker will be the Indian documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, author of Bombay, Our City (1985) and, more recently, War and Peace (2002). Patwardhan will address the issue of Censorship: Within and Without on Aug. 22.

A screening series organized by the local festival Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal will run parallel to the conference. Concordia film graduate Benoit Pilon will present his film Roger Toupin, épicier variété on Aug. 23. It will be preceded by the Oscar-winning documentary Ryan, based on the life of Montreal animator Ryan Larkin.

A series of books on subjects related to the conference will be published by the University of Minnesota Press.

The Visible Evidence conference has travelled a lot during its 12-year history. First held in Duke University, it had editions in Cardiff, Utrecht, Brisbane, Marseille and Bristol. Brazil will host it next year. For more, go to