Found Footage Filmmaking and Popular Memory

  • Desmond Bell


SHOOTING THE PAST? FOUND FOOTAGE FILMMAKING AND POPULAR MEMORY IntroductionHow should we as documentary filmmakers picture the past? How should we conduct the struggle for memory? Clearly a major resource for the representation of history and the celebration of popular memory is the treasure trove of archival images, both still and moving, that are now available to us in the photographic and film archives. But how should we deal with this stockpile of images - as primary evidence and mute testimony to a unattainable past or as narrative resource capable of releasing the submerged voices of history and of attending to their story? Over the last number of years in collaboration with my editor Roger Buck at Napier University, I have developed an archivally based, creative film practice which explores aspects of Ireland's post- Famine past and the Irish diaspora in America. The Hard Road To Klondike (Bell: 1999)...