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Welcome to Newcastle University's Research Centre in Film and Digital Media.

Elephant in the Room:Film and Visual Culture in Contemporary Northern Ireland

Friday 23rd January at 1.30pm in Culture Lab, Newcastle University

PB book cover

A half-day interdisciplinary symposium organized by the Research Centre for Film and Digital Media at Newcastle University. It took place in Culture Lab on 23 January 2015 and was rounded off by the launch of Paula Blair’s prize-winning monograph Old Borders, New Technologies: Reframing Film and Visual Culture in Contemporary Northern Ireland (Peter Lang, 2014).

The symposium brought together practitioners working across various modes of film and visual art, and focused specifically on their works which intersect with hidden and marginalized issues in post-conflict societies and landscapes. Cahal McLaughlin (Professor of Film Studies, Queen’s University Belfast) presented his important work on the Prisons Memory Archive, a longstanding project which aims to record and preserve the memories of those involved in a range of ways with imprisonment during the Northern Ireland conflict. Allan Hughes (Head of Sculpture, Northumbria University) gave an enlightening talk on his video installations which confront the effects that structures and processes of state surveillance have on peripheral landscapes. Sandra Johnston (Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Northumbria University) was interviewed by Paula Blair (Teaching Fellow in Film, Newcastle University) about her live performance work dealing with women’s traumatic experiences during the ‘Troubles’. The guest chairs for the post-presentation discussions included Guy Austin (Director of the RCFDM) and Rachel Woodward (Professor of Human Geography, Newcastle University), whose inputs strengthened the cross-disciplinary aims for the event.

The presentations reflected the themes and issues in Paula’s research on film and visual art in post-Agreement Northern Ireland, and concerned case studies featured in the book. The participants took great delight in discovering the linkages across their disparate approaches to practice, theory, and the themes they deal with. At Newcastle, the event has instigated the emergence of a post-conflict research cluster, and forged stronger connections between Newcastle, Queen’s and Northumbria.

For more information, please email Paula Blair


CIFF poster

The China Independent Film Festival (CIFF) is the longest-running and most important independent film festival in China. The 10th Anniversary of the CIFF UK Celebration took place between 12 May 2014 and 15 May 2014 in Newcastle and went on tour to Nottingham (16th-18th) and London (16th-17th). It was organized by the CIFF and the University of Newcastle in partnership with the University of Nottingham and the China Visual Festival. Further information about the festival is available here.


The Research Centre for Film and Digital Media has collaborated with Veto Films with a film making workshop on the theme of HOME to help nurture local young talent. Three short films have been produced by the young people themselves on the theme of 'Home' (such as HOMELESS) and their work is being screened at various venues across the city, both indoor and outdoor.

'Mongrel' a short film about discovering who you really are, written shot and directed by young people from Newcastle in collaboration with the Research Centre in Film and Digital Media and Bridge + Tunnel Voices, funded by the ESRC festival of Social Science 2011.



Looking to the future, the Centre will be programming screenings, workshops, and talks, showcasing university staff and students' own work in film and digital media, but also collaborating with partners such as the Tyneside Cinema, Side, the Star and Shadow, local film production companies and the BBC, as well as with international partners from further afield. All to help develop Newcastle's status as a brilliant city for film, and to further research into the moving image.