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Equality and Diversity in Representation (Panel 3)

posted on 2024-06-28, 08:33 authored by Elke WeissmannElke Weissmann, David Levente Palatinus, Maria Piqueras Perez

Critical Studies in Television Conference 2024

Maria Piqueras Perez (University of Murcia)

The 1980s Black Film and Video Workshops Ceddo, Black Audio Film Collective and Sankofa highlighting the Importance of Television.

In the 1980s, Ceddo, Black Audio Film Collective, and Sankofa were three London based film and video workshops that countered stereotypes about black Britishness through their experimental productions. Their works are characterised by the intersection of race, sexuality, and gender against the social and political background of Thatcherism. Therefore, discrimination at various levels can be investigated through their works. Their collective practice and the language they created left a consciousness-raising legacy for future generations of filmmakers who followed their path of subversion using cinema as a weapon. Their productions were mostly financed and transmitted by Channel 4. As such, they are an example of the role of television is both catering diversity and giving voice to the voiceless. Their productions show that cinema and TV can be tools of inspiration, education, remediation of stereotypes and creation leading to a more inclusive and equal society.

This proposal focuses on the change in narrative that these collectives brought to the UK thanks to the appearance of Channel 4. Channel 4 founding of independent black films and its transmission on TV included new images about the black British experience away from misconceptions and essentialist representations. This aim will be achieved by exploring how the topics of some of their productions gave an answer to a society that was in crisis fostering education on matters related to minorities and managing at the same time to encapsulate the road towards equality in race-relations. In fact, training and education was part of the agenda of these collectives. This paper will start by exploring the origins of the film collectives and the context that gave rise to them. After this, I will show how their productions respond to the goal of television and education as well as diversity. Finally, this paper will demonstrate how television is a tool that can address current issues with examples already set up in the past.


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