FILMTUR-PORT – Behind the camera: practices of visuality and mobility in the Portuguese tourist film

Leading researcher: Sofia Sampaio
Research group: Practices and Politics of Culture
Type of project: National project
Status: Concluded
Keywords: Practices | Visuality | Tourism | Moving images | Portugal (1910-1980)


Main institution: CRIA
Participant institutions: Cinemateca Portuguesa – Museu do Cinema (CPMC); Centro Interdisciplinar de História, Culturas e Sociedades (CIDEHUS/UÉ); Instituto de Ciências Sociais (ICS-ULisboa)
Funding: FCT
Reference: EXPL/IVC-ANT/1706/2013
Starting date: 01-04-14

More information: link

Abstract

The project aims to enhance, in an innovative way, knowledge of the practices of visuality and mobility that have developed, in overlapping cinematic and touristic contexts, in twentieth-century Portugal. Adopting as main primary source the National Archive of the Moving Image (ANIM), a division of the Portuguese Cinémathèque – Museum of Cinema, the research will focus on tourist films, i.e. on films that aim, in a more or less direct way, to promote a region or locality as a travel destiny, or even, in a broader sense, to promote the practice of travelling. The corpus brings together films produced in Portugal between the First Republic and the end of the Estado Novo (1910-1974), giving precedence to under-researched formats like short and medium-length films and nonfiction. The project will intervene theoretically, in an innovative and truly interdisciplinary way, in the following areas and problematics. (1) Tourism studies: by moving away from the concept of “tourist gaze” (Urry 1990) for its abstract and a-historical qualities, so as to propose an alternative concept of tourist gaze that is materialistic, historical and dynamic, deducible from the specific articulations that cohere around a moving image and that are linked both to the cinematic and artistic field and to leisure and mobility practices. (2) Film history: by contributing to the revision of the historiography of Portuguese cinema, traditionally fiction-centred, so as to retrieve formats and genres that have been underestimated or ignored, of which the tourist film is an example. This revision is in keeping with the growing interest in marginal historical sources, as well as recent improvements in archive organisation and access. (3) Film and genre studies: by offering a reconceptualization of the tourist film that emerges from the viewing of several films, and not from a previously-held abstract categorisation, thus hoping to incorporate and positively value the hybridity that characterises a genre that has been systematically dismissed for being formulaic and cinematically uninteresting. (4) Visual anthropology: by reclaiming film for research purposes, both for its indexicality (i.e. for recording places, bodies, objects, practices, movements and sounds) and for its embededdness in specific practices. The latter aspect entails the “disinterring” of the practices that subtend the images, most importantly the touristic and cinematic practices that were developed during the image-capturing stage, which suggest the relations established between the filmmaker and the filmed place at the moment of the visit and shooting. To achieve this, the team will conduct interviews with filmmakers and technicians who were involved in the production of some of these film; analyse amateur and home movies (a much-neglected though inestimable ethnographic source); and produce new filmed material of some of the places filmed by the interviewees, in their presence. These challenges amply justify the multi- and interdisciplinary nature of the team, which is made up by an anthropologist with a vast experience in ethnography, including in tourist contexts; a researcher who has developed innovative approaches to popular culture and leisure practices in Portuguese contexts; a specialist in Portuguese cinema; a historian specialised in Portuguese colonialism with research interests in twentieth-century popular culture; and the main researcher (IR), a specialist in cultural studies, whose work on the relationship between cinema and tourism and, more recently, on the Portuguese tourist film, has been carried out within the context of visual anthropology and the anthropology of tourism. Originating in the work that the IR has been regularly conducting in ANIM since March 2012, of which she has presented preliminary results at conferences and meetings, the project will create the conditions for advances both in the resolution of the original questions and the formulation of new ones. The catalogue of tourist films, one of the project’s outputs, will provide researchers and archivist with an invaluable work tool. The collaboration between researchers and ANIM will be productive to both parties, namely as far as the amateur and domestic films are concerned, an under-explored collection to which researchers will be gaining privileged “inside” access. It is hoped that this collaboration will be maintained and expanded upon in future projects, which might include partnerships with other Cinémathèques or Film Museums. Finally, and more broadly, the project also wishes to contribute to the appreciation and diffusion of ANIM’s important national heritage. The film screening will enhance public awareness on the need to preserve these films and on the invisible and painstaking work that is being carried out in ANIM to that effect.

Researchers from CRIA

IDNamePositionProjTitleProject typeStatus
pub151*Sofia SampaioPrincipal Investigatorproj45*FILMTUR-PORT - Behind the camera: practices of visuality and mobility in the Portuguese tourist filmNational projectConcluded
pub435*Sérgio SáResearch scholarproj45*FILMTUR-PORT - Behind the camera: practices of visuality and mobility in the Portuguese tourist filmNational projectConcluded
pub478*Gonçalo MotaResearch scholarproj45*FILMTUR-PORT - Behind the camera: practices of visuality and mobility in the Portuguese tourist filmNational projectConcluded
Other researchers

ResearcherPositionInstitutionProjOutrosTitulo_EN
Carolin Overhoff FerreiraResearcherproj45*FILMTUR-PORT - Behind the camera: practices of visuality and mobility in the Portuguese tourist film
Cyril IsnartResearcherCIDEHUS-UÉproj45*FILMTUR-PORT - Behind the camera: practices of visuality and mobility in the Portuguese tourist film
Marcos CardãoResearcherproj45*FILMTUR-PORT - Behind the camera: practices of visuality and mobility in the Portuguese tourist film
Nuno DomingosResearcherICS-ULproj45*FILMTUR-PORT - Behind the camera: practices of visuality and mobility in the Portuguese tourist film