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Centering Peripheries: Film Festival Community Engagement

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)TECHNE AHRC PhD studentship in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and Kingston School of Art, Kingston University London.

Kingston School of Art and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) welcome applications for an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership studentship: Centering Peripheries: Film Festival Community Engagement. This is offered under the TECHNE Doctoral Training Partnership Scheme, to begin in October 2019. 

Deadline for Expressions of Interest: Monday 3 December 2018: 5.00pm (GMT)

Interviews: Week beginning the 10 December 2018

Project supervisors:

Associate Professor, Phillip Warnell and Associate Professor, Julian Rodriguez of Kingston School of Art, in collaboration with

Nico Marzano and Astrid Korporaal of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA).

Project Vision

Centering Peripheries will develop a body of research around film festival public engagement programmes and develop an experimental model for innovation and socio-political relevance in this area. The research is embedded in the fields of Documentary Theory, Experimental Film Theory, Postcolonial Studies, Visual Cultures, Curatorial Theory and Critical (Educational) Theory, also incorporating a strong practical element in Film and Educational Programming. 'New Peripheries' was the theme of the first Frames of Representation festival in 2016. Part of the 'unlearning' of this project will be to confront the existing languages and structures of western international film festivals and community film engagement programmes with the practices of grassroots and community film collectives. Key research questions are:

1. How can a film festival centre both peripheral voices and aesthetics in a way that calls into question the hierarchical landscape of global representation and existing paradigms of visibility and agency?

2. How can a film festival re-think its obligation and the resources it provides, beyond a central moment of visibility of presentation and dialogue, into areas of exchange, mentorship, conversation and allyship?

3. What are the obstacles to processes of de-centering and re-framing and possible methodologies to support this process?

4. How can dialogue be sustained across different material and cultural contexts (South-South and South-North)

Informing the academic research will be a period of hands-on programming experience and research within the Frames of Representation film festival, with the aim of designing and testing new models of public and community engagement, to reflect the aspiration of socio-political impact and innovation. The researcher will work closely with the film festival programming and supervision team to translate key criticisms, strategies and formats from a number of festival case studies into new formats for dialogue, exchange and engagement, responding to the localised context of the Frames of Representation programme. A key consideration in this process will be the specific aim to centre peripheries, challenging both the categories and landscape of 'international' film, and to give agency to local voices in a way that is ethical, sustainable, innovative, reflective of their own creative aims and traditions, and socio-politically progressive.

The focus of the project may be further refined in conversation with the successful applicant, in line with their specific interests.

The studentship will be based in the Department of Film & Photography at Kingston University. During the research process, the student will divide their time between the ICA and Kingston University, where a full academic training and development programme is provided. Visits to other archives and institutions will also be required from time to time based on the developing research focus.

For informal enquires about the project contact Julian Rodriguez, Head of Department Film and Photography, Kingston School of Art ( )

Award Details

Subject to AHRC eligibility criteria, the studentship covers tuition fees and a grant (stipend) towards living expenses. AHRC studentship rates for 2019-20 are yet to be announced - the doctoral stipend for 2018-19 was £16,777 (three years full-time or part-time equivalent for six years); levels are likely to rise slightly for 2019-20. Collaborative Doctoral Students also receive an additional stipend of £550. Students can apply for an additional six months stipend to engage in extended development activities such as work placements. See AHRC funding and training for full details.

As a TECHNE student, the selected applicant will have full access to the TECHNE Doctoral Training Partnership development activities and networking opportunities, joining a cohort of almost 60 students per year from across ten universities in London and the south-east.

Student Eligibility

The student will be expected to have a first-class honours degree in a film, cultural studies, contemporary curation or community education related area of studies, including knowledge of contemporary international film festivals and/or contemporary documentary or independent/community filmmaking practices. Students from both theoretical and practical backgrounds will be considered, whilst some knowledge of advanced qualitative and evaluative research methods in the arts and humanities is essential. Practical experience of film or educational programming, and/or publication and distribution processes is desirable.

Other film-related pathways and professional equivalence from suitably qualified applicants will also be considered.

Applicants must satisy AHRC eligibility requirements and terms and conditions: International (overseas) students are not eligible to apply for AHRC studentships and EU students may be eligible for fees and maintenance, or fees only.

The proposed studentship (subject to selection by the TECHNE Panel in spring 2019) will fund a full-time PhD studentship for three years or part time study for up to six years (50% FTE and above).

Application Process

Please send your expression of interest for this project by email to:

Emily Bowles:

Please title your email 'CDA ICA'.

Applications should comprise of the following:

  • 1-2 page statement outlining your interest in this research project
  • A copy of your first degree and postgraduate qualifications
  • A current CV (no more than 2 pages)
  • A sample of your academic work

Applications must be received by Kingston University no later than Monday 3 December 2018: 5.00pm (GMT)

Interviews for shortlisted candidates are on Tuesday 11th December at ICA

The selected candidate will then be supported by supervisors and partners to complete a TECHNE application for final submission to TECHNE by Thursday 21 February 2019.

Results of this second stage competition will be known by April 2019


Please contact us for more research funding information.

Kingston School of Art
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