Public program of the Society with a Movie Camera exhibition

Public program of the Society with a Movie Camera exhibition

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September-December 2021

Conference Room of the Center for Urban History / online

When the movie camera became available to the general public in the 20th century, thousands of "mechanical eyes" appeared — those of amateur filmmakers. Filmmaking provided an opportunity for creative realization; documenting special moments of personal and family life, it became part of leisure and everyday life. Once recorded on film, footage by amateur filmmakers requires systematic processing and preservation today. Most of these shots exist just in one unique version, the original one, which can be lost over time due to various circumstances. The Society with a Movie Camera exhibition focuses not only on the origins, practices, and features of amateur cinema of the second half of the 20th century, we also want to bring up to date the conversation about preserving the heritage of amateur filmmakers. The actualization and inclusion of private film materials in archival historical sources and, primarily, attention to personal stories and memories expand our understanding of history through private experience and daily life.

The public program of the Society with a Movie Camera exhibition focuses on important aspects, namely the issues related to archives, methods of creation, and technological aesthetics. Throughout the lecture and discussion program, we will reflect together with researchers on the phenomenon of amateur cinema and the art of "non-cinema" and on how a new media culture and media art was formed in the world in the 20th century. The program will expand our knowledge of the relations between amateur and professional filmmakers, the impact of politics on the development of the amateur movement, the aesthetics and practice of private or club film production. In addition to lectures and discussions, the public program includes regular curatorial tours, screenings and discussions of films, as well as practical workshops on the use of visual techniques to better understand urban life.


  • The Silence of Amateur Cinema: Visual Techniques of Narrative Construction. A lecture by Anna Onufriyenko, a cinema expert (7.9.2021 | 18:30)
  • Rebels and pirates: amateur cinema as a cultural phenomenon. A lecture by Yuliya Kovalenko, a film critic, a festival curator (21.9.2021 | 18:30)
  • Sampled Pictures: video art from the 1990s. A discussion with the participation of film director Oleh Chorny and researcher Bohdan Shumylovych (zoom, 28.9.2021 | 18:30)

An open week for collecting and digitizing private materials (September 6-10)

Everyone interested is invited to bring 8 and 16 mm films with amateur or home shooting for digitization.

Screenings and discussions of films from the collection of the Urban Media Archive and partner institutions (September 19)

Curatorial and author's tours of the exhibition (follow announcements on the Center’s for Urban History webpage).


  • Water by Witold Romer. Avant-garde and cinema. A lecture by Andriy Boyarov, a visual artist, curator (6.10.2021 | 18:30)
  • Discussion: The socialist mode of production and amateur cinema, with the participation of Bohdan Shumylovych, Oleksandr Makhanets, Iryna Sklokina (13.10.2021 | 18:30)

Screenings and discussions of films from the collection of the Urban Media Archive and friendly institutions (October 3 and 17, 2021)

The Day of Home Cinema, an international festival of amateur films and cinema, at the Center for Urban History (October 22, 2021)

Curatorial and author's tours of the exhibition (follow announcements on the Center’s for Urban History webpage).

Video lectures: Amateur cinema: stories of visual modes and creative practices

We have prepared a series of video lectures for different audiences, which will be broadcast online. The authors of the presentations are Iryna Sklokina, Anna Onufriyenko, Oleh Chorny, Yuliya Kovalenko, Oleksandr Makhanets (follow announcements on the Center’s for Urban History webpage).

Workshop: Visual methods in the city and for the city

A series of master classes on the use of visual methods for the study of social and urban phenomena. The workshop tutor is Alyona Lyasheva, a sociologist, who, among other things, studies urban conflicts, including the right to housing.

October 5: A theoretical and methodological review

Three approaches to the use of visual methods will be considered: the descriptive or positivist one, the social constructivist one, and the psychogeographical one. These methods are based on texts by Pierre Bourdieu, Guy Debord, Walter Benjamin. The methodological strategies of researching urban processes will be considered separately.

October 12: The empirical part

Before the seminar, participants will be asked to choose one of the research strategies considered and to test it during a walk, collecting data and discussing this experience in a group.

October 19: The final part

Participants of the seminars present the results of their visual research (optional) with further discussion.

One can apply for the master class from September 13 till September 24, 2021.

Public Program Team:

  • Curator: Bohdan Shumylovych
  • Coordination: Viktoria Panas
  • Counseling: Sofia Dyak, Oleksandr Makhanets
  • Communication support: Maryana Mazurak
  • Logistics and technical support: Iryna Paslas, Oleksandr Dmytriev
  • Graphic design: Oleksandra Davydenko

The program will be continued in November-December 2021. Follow announcements on the Center’s for Urban History webpage.

The program is implemented within the project Society with a Movie Camera: A History of Visual Modes and Creative Practices in Ukraine with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation.

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The position of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation may or may not coincide with the authors’ opinions.