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Research Article

(Extra)ordinary images: photography, memory and creative documentary – Rwanda and Argentina

Piotr Cieplak*email-imagePiotr Cieplak*

Dr Piotr Cieplak is an academic, author and award-winning filmmaker. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Creative and Critical Practice in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities, University of Sussex. He is the author of Death, Image, Memory: the genocide in Rwanda and its aftermath in photography and documentary film (2017) and the editor of Familiar Faces: photography, memory and Argentina’s disappeared (2024).

email-image p.cieplak@sussex.ac.uk

Abstract

This essay is a reflection on two creative documentary films produced as outputs of projects supported by the British Academy: The Faces We Lost (2017) and (Dis)Appear (2023). Both films focus on the commemorative and memorial functions of domestic and ID photographs – The Faces We Lost in relation to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and (Dis)Appear in relation to the civic-military dictatorship in Argentina (1976–1983). The essay outlines the importance of domestic and ID photographs in each context and discusses some of the conceptual, formal and creative decisions behind the two documentaries. But it also attempts to contribute to the conversation about creative documentary filmmaking, and creative practice research more generally, as a form of academic enquiry. Lastly, it asks questions about the opportunities and limitations of making films within the academic rather than commercial environment, especially films made in and about the Global South.

Keywords

creative documentaryRwandaArgentinaphotographymemorycreative practice researchgenocidedictatorship
Published on: 22 May 2024
Volume: 12
Issue: Issue 1 & 2
Article ID: a06
Copyright statement
© The author(s) 2024.
Cite this article
Cieplak, (2024), ' (Extra)ordinary images: photography, memory and creative documentary – Rwanda and Argentina ', Journal of the British Academy, 12(Issue 1 & 2): a06 https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/012.a06

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Research article

Normal View Dyslexic View

(Extra)ordinary images: photography, memory and creative documentary – Rwanda and Argentina

Piotr Cieplak*email-imagePiotr Cieplak*

Dr Piotr Cieplak is an academic, author and award-winning filmmaker. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Creative and Critical Practice in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities, University of Sussex. He is the author of Death, Image, Memory: the genocide in Rwanda and its aftermath in photography and documentary film (2017) and the editor of Familiar Faces: photography, memory and Argentina’s disappeared (2024).

email-image p.cieplak@sussex.ac.uk