New Acquisitions During the War: A Conversation on Amateur Films and Their Archiving

New Acquisitions During the War: A Conversation on Amateur Films and Their Archiving

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8.7.2024, 18:30

Conference Room of the Center for Urban History

We invite you to an open conversation between Arseniy Knyazkov and Oleksandr Makhanets about researching and archiving amateur films during the war and to watch new acquisitions to the Urban Media Archive collection of the Center for Urban History.

Although the combination of amateur cinema and war may seem somewhat artificial, many connections, including historical ones, can be found. The optics of the amateur camera shaped the imagination and image of the Second World War through newsreels. It continues to this day, meaning that unprofessional footage or footage generated by robots creates the collective and archiving image of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Also, the war changes our perception and research attention, shifts the focus to things to which we have become sensitive due to our extreme experience, introduces new theories and concepts that we, as historians, try to apply to the past, and, perhaps most importantly, changes people's life circumstances: those directly related to private film archives and those who study and archive them.

The reason for this conversation is a short stay and thought exchange in a private chat between Arseniy Knyazkov and Oleksandr Makhanets about how interesting it would be to discuss new views and evaluations regarding the common research topic, considering the experience of wartime life. Given a simple but unusual opportunity – Arseniy's visit to Lviv – we want to experiment and talk openly, exchange news and fresh thoughts, share and review some new acquisitions and additions of amateur films to the Center's Urban Media Archive collection.

The overarching theme of this event will be the current war and its impact on the amateur film heritage from three perspectives: from the perspective of research and new ways of reading amateur films, from the perspective of their archiving, and the perspective of personal biographies and trajectories of people during the war. As these films are primarily memory carriers of the private past, of home and communities that in many cases were destroyed or separated.

Participants of the conversation:

  • Arseniy Knyazkov – film researcher and film expert at the Dovzhenko Center
  • Oleksandr Makhanets – historian and archivist, Center for Urban History


Cover Image: Still from Ivan Kulytskyi's film "Ivasyk Telesyk"

Gallery: Bohdan Yemets