International Research Project

Event (published 26.11.2020)

Visible Evidence XXVII – Virtual Event Documentary and Democracy in Crisis, December 16-18, 2020

As the actual Visible Evidence XXVII conference was postponed to to October 2021 due to Covid-19 a virtual event will be held instead.

ViCTOR-E will contribute with a virtual presentation on

Accessing the Visual Archives of Post War Europe: Trauma, Obliteration and Reconstruction

on December 18th, 2020, 18:30 CET / 12:30PM EST

More info on the joint presentation and the how to take part in it on the Visible Evidence website Visible Evidence XXVII Virtual Event

and here:


Non-fiction film in postwar Europe is closely linked to various projects of material, political and cultural reconstruction in a continent torn apart by WW II and its aftermath. While newsreels, documentaries and educational films were essential tools to establish shared iconographies, narratives and vocabularies within ideologically and spatially redefined societies and communities, non-fiction film underwent a process of reconfiguration and diversification that is itself part of the reconstruction of Europe.

We currently experience a major shift in the accessibility of this part of the European film heritage, since a growing amount of audiovisual material is digitized and becomes more and more available online. This is not only a challenge for historians and film scholars but also an opportunity for the general public. Until today, cultural memories of the postwar period have been incisively shaped by specific historic icons and iconographies and thereby used to reproduce mainly national perspectives. While contemporary audiences already appear to be naturally invested in local film heritages, this iconographic nationalism is rarely challenged within transnational perspectives.

Bringing together archives, researchers and teachers from across Europe, our project VICTOR-E aims to combine at least three essential dimensions of providing access: Digitizing non-fiction films and making them accessible online via EFG; curating a virtual exhibition as a transnational space to explore non-fiction films from different national contexts; and developing a conceptual framework to understand non-fiction films as part of a European visual culture of trauma, obliteration and reconstruction. Based on a film program selected for the occasion and the experiences from an ongoing series of international workshops with students we will use this online event to discuss challenges and potentials of this endeavor. In particular, we would like to call for a reflection on the role of film a historic source in a time, when public spaces are increasingly virtualized: digitization policies, reception and re-mediation practices, risks of decontextualisation, misinterpretation or revisionism, as well as accurate rescuratorial and teaching possibilities.

The link to the film program will be sent together with the zoom link following registration. For questions about the film screening please email: