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British Women Amateur FilmmakersNational Memories and Global Identities$
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Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes and Heather Norris Nicholson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474420730

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420730.001.0001

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Cameras Not Handbags: The Essential Accessory

Cameras Not Handbags: The Essential Accessory

(p.89) Chapter 4 Cameras Not Handbags: The Essential Accessory
British Women Amateur Filmmakers

Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes

Heather Norris Nicholson

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores women's impulse to film as a response to modernity. Some women made films entirely independently, without links to clubs, literature or other filmmakers. Self-reliant and experimental, they used their cameras as modern visual accessories to capture specific moments and memories and to display agency often denied in other areas of life by class expectations, domesticity or other constraints. Their filmic versions of family life, travel and local events may be conventional or quirkily individual and spontaneous. They chronicle anniversaries and local events, children's rites of passage and where they find themselves whether in post-independent India, Kenya's Mau Mau Emergency, countryside picnics with Enoch Powell or as an acclaimed pianist from Trinidad. Not all films were edited or even survive: imagery and interviewees disclose varied emotions; films were (and are) moments in time, often eclipsed by later circumstances whether personal or political.

Keywords:   visual memories, modernity, pre and postwar Britain, family life, local events, Enoch Powell

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