Appel à propositions / Call for Papers
East European Film Bulletin (Paris) – “Special Issue on Cinema, Architecture and Urban Space in the Balkans”
Deadline for proposals (in English language): 15th of July 2022
Papers due: 1st of November 2022
Often unified by the concept of the “cinematic city”, different approaches in film studies tend to examine urban space through three main angles.
Films shot within the build environment may record – perhaps unwillingly its current dynamics, architecture and urban planning (city as
background), consciously use the representational value of specific places
for narrative purposes (as character) or directly comment on the
socio-political conditions and memories of a city (as subject). However, it
can be argued that most of these discussions eventually converge to a
double question: how does cinema reflect upon the past, present and
future of a city and how do films reinforce or contest narratives and myths and affect the collective urban experience.
Following our previous special issue on urban themes in Russian and
Soviet cinema, this year we turn our focus to the Balkans. Often described as the “other” of Europe, “insufficient European”, or a “specter haunting Western culture” (to use the Maria Todorova’s provocative description), the countries and people of the Balkan Peninsula more often than not are seen as a geographic and culturally unified unit of measurement, against which Europeans can prove their superiority. The fall of the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent Balkan wars as well as breakup of Yugoslavia, led the newly formed Balkan states to assert distinct national identities, mainly structured around religion and language. The collective amnesia of a multiethnic past is however negated in everyday practices where cultural footprints proliferate (linguistic and culinary p.e.), the result of a century-long multicultural blend and the Ottoman presence in the region.
The special issue is intended to discuss Balkan urban space and
architecture through a cinematic perspective, and further explore
elements linking urban studies with film studies. We are particularly
interested in contributions discussing fiction films or documentaries
focused on specific urban spaces of the Balkans, significant
constructions, major cities or lesser-known towns and villages. We are
also interested in itinerary films that map the peninsula through their
passage from different built environments.
Suggested topics (non-exhaustive list):