Academics from LCS and History awarded £100k from the AHRC

Academics from awarded £100k from the AHRC

The award is from the AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund for a project working to support marginalised communities overseas.

Paul Cooke (Centre for World Cinema and Digital Cultures), Stephanie Dennison (Centre for World Cinema and Digital Cultures/Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies) and Will Gould (History) have been awarded £100K by from the AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund for the project ‘Troubling the National Brand and Voicing Hidden Histories: Historical Drama as a tool for International Development and Community Empowerment’.

The aim of this project is to support marginalised communities in Brazil, India and South Africa to challenge the way these nations present themselves to the world via 'nation branding' and other 'soft power' initiatives. In so doing, the project seeks to raise awareness nationally and internationally of these communities' precarious place in society and to support them in campaigning to effect change in their lives.

The particular focus will be on the privileged place historical dramas made for the large and small screen frequently have in 'nation-branding' exercises. The project will begin with an investigation of how all three nations use their history as an important asset within their 'soft power' strategies, focussing in particular on the instrumentalisation of film in each country.

The project will then work with international development agencies to explore how these national narratives are experienced by some of the most marginalised groups within these societies. Through a process of co-production the project team will make a series of video responses by these groups to the way their nations' histories are presented to the world. The purpose of the videos will be to support these groups to reflect upon their place in society, allowing them to contextualize their struggles globally by learning from the experience of our other case studies, and to develop awareness-raising campaigns.

Some of the previous film work Professor Paul Cooke has undertaken in South Africa can be seen here.