Massoumi, N (2016) Home in the frame: diasporic, domestic ethnography in documentary film practice. PhD thesis, University of Bristol.


This practice-as-research project explores the meaning of family filmmaking in diaspora through the making of four documentaries about my parents, their experiences and memories of home as first generation displaced Iranians living in Britain. While displaced film/makers are a growing interest in studies of world and transnational cinema, a neglected area of enquiry is the diasporic family film. To this end, I focus on two aspects of family filmmaking in the context of displacement. Firstly, how conventional family portraits and home mode artefacts operate in diasporic family films, as evident in three of the short films presented. I propose historically contingent spacetime relations shaping memory, representation and performance in these practices. In diaspora, a pronounced tension between host and home complicates their cultural function. Secondly, with reference to the final film, I examine the psychodynamics of filming an intimate domestic encounter, drawing on object-relations psychoanalysis. In doing so, the thesis finds new ways of thinking about creativity, intersubjectivity and ethics in documentary, as well as the psychic investment in home and family in diasporic, domestic ethnography.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2016 10:12
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2016 10:12
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