7th Annual Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference

19 Jun 2012 to 22 Jun 2012

Call for papers: 7th Annual Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference


Eight years since the first Annual Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference which heralded the resurgence of cinematic new waves in the region, we turn our eyes to the state of film archiving and the relationship between cinema and the archives. Filipino film critic Alexis Tioseco’s 2009 open letter to the Film Development Council of the Philippines mentions current holdings stored in ‘deplorable conditions’. In his letter, Tioseco praises the National Film Archive of Thailand for its work in doing so much with so little. In Indonesia, the Sinematek Indonesia which was established in the early 1970s has also seen cuts that make the archive a shadow of its former glory. It is only in Singapore that a young Asian Film Archive (est. 2005) has taken root.

The 7th Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference (2012) emphasizes the politics, practices, and poetics of the archive. How does one define an archive? And who can be said to do archival work? Might DVD pirates, private collectors, cinephiles, film bloggers and film societies be considered film archivists of a sort when governments do not or no longer perceive the need to fund national film archives? If so, how does this change the public nature of an archive, and what implications does it have on the production of knowledge? What might film curators take into consideration when they select and preserve films for the archive? What are the social, political, aesthetic, and scholarly roles of the archive? How does the archive negotiate issues of power and accessibility? What is the role of the archive in the digital age of new media?

At the same time, in interrogating the relationship between film and the archive, might film itself as a socio-cultural text not be regarded as an archive and as a necessary site to re-think temporalities and the reasons for nostalgia? As Derrida reminds us, “The question of the archive is not a question of the past” but rather “a question of the future itself.” Where does the archive lie in creating, defining, and constructing cultural memory or cultural heritage? This conference then invites papers that comment not only on the nature of what an archive is and the role it plays in South East Asia, but also how films and film archives ask us to think about the timeliness of cultural work.

Each year, the conference has included film practitioners in recognition of the crucial role they have played in increasing film education and discourse in the region. We have previously provided space for independent filmmakers and screenings of their works, focused on curriculum development, and highlighting alternative cultures of cinema. This year, the conference seeks to include workshops that bring together film archivists from within the region.

We invite panels that address this theme, particularly questions concerning:

  • Film Archival Materials as Intertexts
  • Comparative Studies of Archives or Case Studies of Specific Archives
  • Role of the Academic / Film Critic / Filmmaker in Relation to the Archive
  • Technology / New Media
  • Production of Temporalities and Spatialities
  • Politics of Taste
  • Preservation and Dissemination
  • Archival Research Methods
  • Intellectual Property
  • The Relationship between Southeast Asian Archives and the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF)
  • Historiography
  • Scholarly Accessibility
  • Subtitling and the Archive
  • Film Policy and the Archive
  • The State and the Archive
  • Short Films and the Archive

We also welcome submissions for the open call. Please check our website archives and conference programs for past paper topics as we are less likely to accept topics that have been covered before: http://seaconference.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/conference-programme-and-o...

Abstract Submission Deadline: Nov 30, 2011

Please send an abstract (max. 500 words) and short bio (max. 100 words) to: Sophia Siddique Harvey (soharvey@vassar.edu), Khoo Gaik Cheng (gaik.khoo@gmail.com) and Jasmine Nadua Trice (jntrice@gmail.com). We are currently attempting to get funding for travel subsidies and accommodations but cannot offer any as of yet.