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Documentary, History and Staging Reality

Major Leverhulme Research Project, 2 years (2011-2013)
Project lead: Stella Bruzzi

‘Approximation’ is a project about history and representation in film, television and related media. Its starting point has been what we collectively term ‘9/11’, although this is a project about the terrorist attacks on the US on 11 September 2001 but rather about their impact on the representation of reality and how they have invited us to review and rethink history.

I have worked with fact-based images that best illustrate the idea that history, like documentary, has never had a finite identity or set of meanings but is rather always in flux, always being re-contextualised and redefined.

‘Approximation’ seemed the best term, within an arts and humanities context, to capture this sense of movement and layering, signalling both proximity and distance, but never sameness and equivalence.

This research will culminate in a 125,000-word monograph to be published by Routledge in 2015.