Cinematic Geographies of Battersea: Urban Interface and Site-Specific Spatial Knowledge (AHRC, 2012-13).
This AHRC-funded research project being conducted by the Universities of Cambridge (Prof. F. Penz), Liverpool (Prof. R. Koeck) and Edinburgh (Prof. C. Speed) in partnership with The Survey of London (English Heritage). Cinematic Geographies of Battersea aims to harness the unique mechanism by which cinema and the moving image contribute to our understanding of cities by investigating the convergence of two different yet complementary ways of understanding the built environment: on the one hand, the historical approach developed by The Survey of London (English Heritage) and on the other, the cinematic interpretation of cities developed in the departments of architecture at the universities of Cambridge and Liverpool.
The project is positioned at the intersection between cinematic culture, geography and architecture, and concurs with Aitken and Zoon insofar that we believe that film and moving images more generally have not only shaped our everyday experiences and environments, but also transformed our society into one in which reel realities are readily incorporated into our contemporary sense of self and space. The municipal district of Battersea was identified as a historically and culturally rich case-study area in which to gather material towards a database of films and moving images. The project identified over 600 films that were either shot in Battersea (partially or entirely) or were in some way emblematic of the area.
This research began with the proposition that the physical city is not just a source of filmic and architectural heritage or a cultural space in which the filmic and urban heritage is inscribed, but is, in a sense, an interface through which one could investigate ways of engaging the public.
Friday. 30 July 2015