Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Workshop Series on Filmmakers at St Andrews



Abbas Kiarostami
KIAROSTAMI AT ST ANDREWS

Institute for Global Cinema and Creative Cultures,
University of St Andrews
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
School I, 17:00 – 21:00

Abbas Kiarostami, the most notable auteur of contemporary Iranian cinema who passed away in July 2015 at 76, is fondly celebrated by global cinephiles for his aesthetics, visual poetry and humanistic politics.
His films draw from history, sociology, anthropology, geopolitics, religion and philosophy. Masterpieces like Where is My Friend's House? (1987), Close-up (1990), and Through the Olive Trees (1994) – to name just a few -- are regarded worldwide as some of the most important works of cinema.
We invite you to spend an evening viewing and discussing Kiarostami work. The director’s films necessitate keen attention because of the superb dialectics between local and global. His portrayal of a concrete (Iranian) history, culture, and politics is structured in a way that expands the experteintial horizons to the universal.
It is this transformative potential of Kiarostami’s films that earned him a most notable position in the annals of cinema.
For the event, we chose to show the Palme d'or winning Taste of Cherry (1997): a philosophical masterpiece and a marvelous example of film craft.
A video essay that builds on sequences from Kiarostami’s films and other aspects of his versatile artistic legacy will also be screened.

Programme:
17:00 – 17:10 Welcome address and introduction to the “Workshop Series on Filmmakers at St Andrews” by Prof. Dina Iordanova, Director, IGCCC.
17:10 – 17:45 Professor Jean-Michel Frodon, ‘The oeuvre of Kiarostami: A Personal Tribute’
17:45 – 19:20 Screening: Taste of Cherry (1997, Iran,  Abbas Kiarostami, 95 minutes)
19:20 – 19:40 Tea Break/ Display of Shorna Pal’s video essay on Kiarostami
19:40 – 20:15 Two brief presentations by Shorna Pal (on ceating the video essay) and Sanghita Sen (on the Koker trilogy)
20:15 21:00  Discussion, moderated by Dina Iordanova and Jean-Mchel Frodon

Related recent research:
Frodon, Jean-Michel. The Kiarostami effect. Honar va cinĂ©ma n°3. Tehran. March 2016. Pp 68-75.


OUR NEW WORKSHOP SERIES
KIAROSTAMI AT ST ANDREWS is the inaugural event in a series that will see the presentation of other similar events where we will dedicate a single evening to the work of a recently deceased single personality from global cinema.
Forthcoming workshops will be dedicated to WAJDA AT ST ANDREWS (March 2017) and PURI AT ST ANDREWS (April 2017).

Conceived and curated by the Institute of Global Cinema and Creative Cultures (University of St Andrews) the series will celebrate the artistry of those whose names are synomymous with global film.
Along with film enthusiasts who like to go beyond the mainstream, we will get together to view and discuss the work of the masters whilst their charismatic presence is still fresh on our minds.
And whilst the focus will be on the films of one filmmaker, actor or other creative personality, we will invoke examples that will keep in check the context of transnational film culture, in which global cinema appears and thrives.
The workshops will be lead by Professor Dina Iordanova, alongside personalities such as Prof Jean-Michel Frodon, Prof. John Burnside, and others, and involving contributions from our wonderfully global student cohort.
The sessions will be loosely structured around screenings, short presentations, videos, provocations, and interventions. Everybody will have the chance to take part.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Inaugural Lecture: Prof. Nina Laurie, "Geographies of return, identity and development"

Professor Nina Laurie of the Department of Geography and Sustainable Development, School of Geography and Geosciences, will deliver her Inaugural Lecture "Geographies of return, identity and development" in School III, St Salvator's Quadrangle on Wednesday 23 November 2016, 5.15pm. All are welcome.

Geographies of return, identity and development 

We are all ‘returnees’. Across our lifetimes we return at different moments to places, homes, communities, friendships, families, value sets and ways of being. Such movements change us. We carry into new spaces where and what has gone before. These geographical echoes help frame our understandings of where we arrive and what we feel we can do when we get there. This lecture explores how the experiences and knowledges of those who return influences the form and success of sustainable development in diverse settings. It draws on three decades of fieldwork in the global South and new research in coastal Scotland in order to emphasize the need for development policy makers to value the common experience of return. I highlight research on some of the globe’s most marginalised groups, indigenous people and women who have experienced trafficking, and examine how their experiences of return have shaped their rights based development demands. I explore how return can involve valuing traditional ways of knowing and doing, generating new collective group identities as development actors. As an example, I use this framework to introduce a new research agenda on sustainable development in Scotland through a new project ‘Rowing the Waves’ being conducted in partnership with St Andrews Coastal Rowing Club and the Scottish Coastal Rowing Association.

List of inaugural lectures for the academic year 2016-17

Monday, 7 November 2016

East Side Story: Historical Pollution and Neighbourhood Sorting

The East Sides of cities such as London, Vancouver, New York and Paris have historically been the poorest. Some, but not all, have gentrified more recently, and this gentrification has been at the centre of media attention. These observations uncover two questions. Why were these neighbourhoods poor to begin with, and why did some gentrify while others did not? Research conducted by Stephan Heblich (University of Bristol), Alex Trew of the School of Economics & Finance (University of St Andrews) and Yanos Zylberberg (University of Bristol) (http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/textonly/SERC/publications/download/sercdp0208.pdf) suggests that this observation is the most visible consequence of the historically unequal distribution of air pollutants across neighborhoods. During the Industrial Revolution, many areas of Manchester, for example, were covered with layers of soot. Black stains on the pavements and buildings of areas such as Victoria Station or Ancoats in North-East Manchester remained until very recently. With the wrong weather, some areas could be submerged under dark, thick smog. This environmental disamenity made them unpleasant places to live and, in response, those who could afford moved to the neighbourhoods spared by the pollution. This sorting resulted in an unequal distribution of social classes across the city. Since the prevailing winds (The Westerlies) in London, Vancouver, New York, Paris or Manchester blow from the West to the East, the most visible component of such process ended up being the observed West-East differential in neighbourhood composition.

The authors examined nearly 5,000 industrial chimneys in 70 English cities in 1880 and use an atmospheric dispersion model to recreate the spatial distribution of pollution. The exercise was possible because of the fastidiousness of Victorian cartographers. These pioneering map-makers marked each building with landmarks such as factory chimneys. In addition, Victorian census-takers conducted detailed population studies over the nineteenth century.

There is a strong connection between the presence of air pollution and the share of low-skilled workers at the end of the nineteenth century. Such a correlation was absent before coal became the major energy source at the beginning of the century. The observed effect is substantial: the difference between being in the 10% and 90% most polluted neighbourhoods of Manchester was a difference of about 20 percentage points in the share of low-skilled workers. Most interestingly, the relationship between the presence of historic pollution and the share of low skilled workers in 2011 turns out to be quantitatively comparable to the one observed at the end of the nineteenth century. The previous result leaves one question unanswered. How could sorting caused by 1880 pollution be visible nowadays almost 100 years after the 1926 Smoke Abatement Act and 50 years after the Clean Air Acts (which quickly and considerably reduced the extent of coal-based pollution within cities)?

Available podcast:
http://www.wsj.com/podcasts/east-side-vs-west-side-a-division-of-wealth/BD78667E-602D-4FAD-A8EB-24B492E5DC1C.html

East Side Story: Historical Pollution and Neighbourhood Sorting

The East Sides of cities such as London, Vancouver, New York and Paris have historically been the poorest. Some, but not all, have gentrified more recently, and this gentrification has been at the centre of media attention. These observations uncover two questions. Why were these neighbourhoods poor to begin with, and why did some gentrify while others did not? Research conducted by Stephan Heblich (University of Bristol), Alex Trew of the School of Economics & Finance (University of St Andrews) and Yanos Zylberberg (University of Bristol) (http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/textonly/SERC/publications/download/sercdp0208.pdf) suggests that this observation is the most visible consequence of the historically unequal distribution of air pollutants across neighborhoods. During the Industrial Revolution, many areas of Manchester, for example, were covered with layers of soot. Black stains on the pavements and buildings of areas such as Victoria Station or Ancoats in North-East Manchester remained until very recently. With the wrong weather, some areas could be submerged under dark, thick smog. This environmental disamenity made them unpleasant places to live and, in response, those who could afford moved to the neighbourhoods spared by the pollution. This sorting resulted in an unequal distribution of social classes across the city. Since the prevailing winds (The Westerlies) in London, Vancouver, New York, Paris or Manchester blow from the West to the East, the most visible component of such process ended up being the observed West-East differential in neighbourhood composition.

The authors examined nearly 5,000 industrial chimneys in 70 English cities in 1880 and use an atmospheric dispersion model to recreate the spatial distribution of pollution. The exercise was possible because of the fastidiousness of Victorian cartographers. These pioneering map-makers marked each building with landmarks such as factory chimneys. In addition, Victorian census-takers conducted detailed population studies over the nineteenth century.

There is a strong connection between the presence of air pollution and the share of low-skilled workers at the end of the nineteenth century. Such a correlation was absent before coal became the major energy source at the beginning of the century. The observed effect is substantial: the difference between being in the 10% and 90% most polluted neighbourhoods of Manchester was a difference of about 20 percentage points in the share of low-skilled workers. Most interestingly, the relationship between the presence of historic pollution and the share of low skilled workers in 2011 turns out to be quantitatively comparable to the one observed at the end of the nineteenth century. The previous result leaves one question unanswered. How could sorting caused by 1880 pollution be visible nowadays almost 100 years after the 1926 Smoke Abatement Act and 50 years after the Clean Air Acts (which quickly and considerably reduced the extent of coal-based pollution within cities)?

Available podcast:
http://www.wsj.com/podcasts/east-side-vs-west-side-a-division-of-wealth/BD78667E-602D-4FAD-A8EB-24B492E5DC1C.html