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Cinema of the Margins (Online)

Price £150

“I am arguing for politics and epistemologies of location, positioning and situating, where partiality and not universality is the condition of being heard to make knowledge claims … I am arguing for the view from a body, always a complex, contradictory, structuring and structured body, versus the view from above, from nowhere, from simplicity.” (Haraway 1988: 589)

Led by artists and academics Ludovica Fales and Adele Tulli, this course looks with a curatorial approach at those strands in the history of global cinema that question and critique dominant power, ideologies and institutions in society, providing views from the margins, not encoded in hegemonic norms: exploring a range of practitioners and practices, and different geographical and political contexts, the course focuses on creativeand nonconforming film and video approaches, that reclaims cinema as a praxis of dissent and resistance, a medium with the radical potential of challenging and disrupting the status quo, and a home for the marginal, oppressed, and subaltern identities and bodies.

In our current postcolonial society, the process of globalisation itself and the financial inequalities and climate imbalances coming with it, led us to rethink and question concepts as “identity”, “citizenship”, “nation” and opened the way to the emergence in the public sphere of a multiplicity of “diasporic public spheres” “imaginary worlds”, “able to contest and sometimes subvert the imaginary words belonging to official and business-like mindsets” (Appadurai, 1996). Within this perspective, we would like to explore all those film histor(ies), which, since the 1960s to current times, have experimented with cinematic codes in the pursuit of a deeply personal, formally experimental, and politically challenging language, able to question dominant and disciplinary gazes on class, gender, race and sexuality. We will be looking at ethics of imperfection, practices of self, process of becoming common through cinema. Throughout the course there will be optional writing and creative tasks.

Week 1 – Feminist cinema (the male gaze, feminist realist debate, avantgarde as counter-cinema, various artists )

Week 2 – Queer cinema (blurring the boundaries of documentary, fiction and video art, subjectivity as a frontline strategy, hybrid mix of poetry and politics, memory and history, bodies and emotions, various artists i.e. Derek Jarman, Jack Smith…)

Week 3 – Black cinema in the UK, US and France (post -avantgarde, collective fillmmaking, Melvin Van Peebles, Spike Lee, Isaac Julien, Sankofa, Ceddo, Black Audio Collective /John Akomfrah

Week 4 – Third cinema and “imperfect” cinema in Latin America & Africa, Palestine, Kurdistan (Group Medvedkine, Glauber Rocha and the aesthetics of Hunger, Fernando Solanas and the idea of the South, Ousmane Sembene and the use of griot,Michel Kleifi, Yilmz Guney etc…)

Week 5 – Independent political documentary in India and slow cinema in South-East Asia  (Lav Diaz, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

Week 6 – Indigenous and Aboriginal cinema



1x Universal Credit bursary place is available for this course. Please see our bursary policy here.

This course is delivered via online distance learning. Students will require their own computer or other internet connected device.

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[Image: Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991)]



Ludovica Fales


Filmmaker and artist Ludovica Fales has been making independent documentary and experimental films since 2007, following on a BA-MA in Philosophy in Rome and Berlin. After an MA in Documentary Direction at the NFTS in 2011, she travelled around the Mediterranean area, across the Balkans and in the Middle East, making films and working closely and collaboratively with vulnerable communities around the world and using filmmaking as a conflict resolution tool.

Her award winning feature film "The Real Social Network", "Letters from Palestine", "Fear and Desire" etc...were screened in festivals around the world . With experience as an AP on projects for Al Jazeera and BBC, she worked collaboratively with various artists and filmmakers, as well as with European Cultural Foundation and Basis of Aktuelle Kunst on a film portrait about Forensic Architecture.

She collaborated with Frames of Representation festival at ICA in London, and programmed for IsReal, Quadrangle, Salinadocfest festivals. With her international collective, Kitchen Sink Collective, she organised mobile cinema events in the Uk and collaborated with festivals such as Sheffield doc/fest.

Her International PhD in Audiovisual Studies led her to researching in the field of interactive documentaries, digital platforms, VR projects and wearable technologies. She started lecturing in documentary practice and theory, experimental and interactive film and video and she now teaches at UCL in London. Her dual posture as filmmaker and academic, led her to take an interest in the exploration of memory and personal and collective, including the use of archival material and new media.

In the last two years, she has been engaging in a process of collaborative workshops with a group of Roma teenagers in Italy, which resulted in a series of improvisation workshops for the production of her first hybrid documentary- fiction film "Lala".


Adele Tulli


Adele Tulli is a filmmaker and an academic researcher interested in documentary experimental practices, as well as in gender and queer studies and visual anthropology. In 2018 she has completed a practice-based PhD at Roehampton University in London, exploring subversive film aesthetics within queer and feminist contexts.

She has directed award-winning films such as 365 without 377 (2011), about the struggles of the LGBT community in India, and Rebel Menopause (2014) on feminist activist Thérèse Clerc. Both films have been broadcasted internationally and have been screened at numerous festivals (Sheffield DocFest, WatchDocs, Guadalajara International FF, Flare BFI/London, Frameline/San Francisco, NewFest/NY, Mix Brasil, Turin LGBT Film Festival, Films de Femmes/Creteil, and many more) and won several awards.

Her latest film, Normal, is a visual journey through the performance of gender in contemporary Italy. Since its premiere in Berlinale Panorama 2019, it screened at major international film festivals across the world (CPH/DOX Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, Frames of Representation at ICA in London, Thessalonikki International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Against Gravity Film Festival in Poland, Bogota International Film Festival and many others) and got a theatrical release in Italy, UK, Greece and Germany.

She has recently completed a post-doc at Sussex University, exploring the career of Jill Craigie, one of the first women to make documentaries in the UK.

365 Without 377 | 2011 | 52’ | Italy
Rebel Menopause | 2014 | 25’ | UK
Normal | 2019 | 70’ | Italy