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Changing Communities on Film: an investigation into representations of community between 1910 and 1954 in collections in the Yorkshire Film Archive

Starzynski, Joanna Louise (2021) Changing Communities on Film: an investigation into representations of community between 1910 and 1954 in collections in the Yorkshire Film Archive. Doctoral thesis, York St John University.

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Abstract

This thesis analyses representations of community in amateur and professional films from selected collections from the Yorkshire Film Archive between 1910 and 1954; a time of significant social and economic change in the region.

Analysis of what appears on screen is undertaken by employing modes of textual analysis and historical and critical theories, including the Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft, and Imagined and Constructed ideas of community on a regional and national level.

The thesis first considers definitions of community and problems inherent in providing a simple and single definition. Frameworks employed to develop the analysis of film footage include methodological tools based upon prior research of archival footage and thematic, textual, and historic analysis to examine what is within the foreground and the underlying representations within the footage.

Each chapter then examines the changing representations of people and the environment. However, in addition to that which exists in front of the camera the study seeks to engage with those behind the camera as being equally significant. This research uses the categorisations of amateur, professional and propaganda footage to explore and interpret the film collections. However, the boundaries for these categorisations shift over time and this fluidity in definitions is considered as part of the analysis of change over time. The linear analysis of specific collections allows for comparison and contrast between key facets of community which include class, gender, and ethnicity.

The analysis argues that there is no single definition of community but that communities in Yorkshire and the Northeast change between 1910-1954. The affordability and familiarity of filmmaking grew between World War One and the Post-War period and changed people’s knowledge and exposure to filmmaking, reflecting dramatic economic and social changes. These alterations are represented on film, as the increase in filmmaking reveals changes to communities in public and private spheres.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Status: Published
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
School/Department: School of the Arts
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/5882

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