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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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British Women’s Media Narratives of Gender and Collective Memory

British Women’s Media Narratives of Gender and Collective Memory

(p.163) Chapter 7 British Women’s Media Narratives of Gender and Collective Memory
British Women Amateur Filmmakers

Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes

Heather Norris Nicholson

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter engages with theoretical and historical perspectives on gender, post-colonialism and new media with the aim to trace the visual literacy defined by several examples of British women amateur film and media practice. This literacy appears to inform new understandings of amateur/new media making and to elucidate how gender-driven visual narratives of gender, race and national identities function today within global online networks. It explores issues of belonging, home-and-abroad mind frames, and of colonial and post-colonial identity-building within postcolonial and feminist theories. The theoretical discourse is anchored in detailed analyses of the amateur film made by Eileen Healey of the all-women tragic mountaineering expedition up the Chy Oyu summit in 1959, and of several exceptional scenes filmed in colour by Rosie Newman during the London Blitz, including British military drills during the Second World War and portraits of British colonial subjects and sites. Finally, it identifies the ways in which some documentary filmmakers have recently re-framed and re-contextualized similar footage, such as Beatrice Blackwood’s and Ursula Graham Bower’s colonial amateur (ethnographic) films, either as visual ‘fillers’ for new perspectives on the history of the British Empire, or as cinematic documents relevant to new practices in visual anthropology studies

Keywords:   amateur media making, Chy Oyu, London Blitz, Eileen Healey, Rosie Newman, Beatrice Blackwood, Ursula Graham Bower, national identities, visual anthropology

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