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Showing posts from June, 2012

History and film/broadcasting

Yesterday, on the spur of the moment, instead of working on a job application I decided to attend a conference organized by former QUB Prof. of Film Des Bell and Irish historian Dr Fearghal McGarry, entitled 'Reframing History: film, television and the historians'. Interestingly, a few months back I attended some events during the BBC's Festival of History and Broadcasting (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-17033362). Many issues were raised yesterday that I've been pondering since February, and here are a few musings.
One common debate was the integrity of televised historical documentary series or programmes. Many argue that the information is 'dumbed down' and the audience's intelligence insulted. The reality we are in now is that tabloid-esque broadcasting has generated a vicious supply-demand cycle in which the bulk of TV viewers seem to desire 'reality' shows and docu-dramas such as X-Factor, Geordie Shore, Big Brother, TOWIE, etc. …

Ambitions...

Today is an 'other ramblings' kind of day. This post may well read like a diary entry rather than a blog. As many friends know, I am having a complete downer about academia and jobs, etc. From the outset I will stress that I never began a PhD programme with the assumption or intention that I would follow an academic career. I did it because an opportunity came up, because I am passionate about the topic, I enjoy researching and writing, and because I wanted to see if I could. And I did. So have and will countless others. Now what? Back to retail it was, and my soul is dying.

I am grateful for the job and given that my boss is giving me heaps of overtime, I'm luckier than others, and I'd work at anything rather than sign on. But receiving the tiniest bit over minimum wage after working so hard for the past decade makes things difficult. I'm in so much debt I can't see straight, and the fatigue is incredible. There is no will left to carry on. I constantly verse …

CAC and MAC

So after much resistance, yesterday I finally visited the newly built Metropolitan Arts Centre, formerly the glorious Old Museum Arts Centre and I was not disappointed. The building fully met my low expectations. It took a while to find a functional entrance, which is tucked away in an ugly courtyard full of gym-bunnies and ladies who lunch. For me it is a visualization of the Ministry of Truth or something equally oppressive. As a building it is an architectural wonder, but as a purpose-built arts venue it is not fit-for-purpose. Very few of the gallery spaces are conducive to effective installations or exhibitions. I only peeked into one of the theatre studios in which the seating looked cramped. Maria McKinney's installation 'Somewhere but here, another other place' was interesting and I'd recommend a look but the space just sucked away anything imaginative or playful I might otherwise have felt. All I could feel throughout the building was a personal insult as a ta…
Hello friends,

Several people over the past few years suggested I ought to set up a blog, and seeing as I enjoy blathering on about things but in the post-PhD blues phase of life I can't muster up the energy for much academic writing, I figured now is an appropriate time to have a go.

My primary research concerns film and visual culture in contemporary Northern Ireland, particularly ways in which film-makers and visual artists address issues that can be regarded as deriving from post-Agreement (rather than post-conflict) society in our wee country. These issues include questioning ideologies generated by mass media representations of conflict, the Troubles as a mediatized war, and confronting individuals' internalizations of complex sociopolitical upheaval. My broader interests include avant-garde/experimental/modernist film and documentary.

I am hugely passionate about creative arts and the people who drive them in NI. I intend to largely use this blog to write reviews or com…