Selina’s PhD research

About This Project

This enquiry sets out to remember through creative practice a cultural history of feminist moving image practice in 1980s London, with a focus on the Rio cinema in Hackney.

I am interested in the relationship between feminism, activism, film history, memory and the archive, specifically how memory as emotional knowledge passes through friends, communities and across generations, contributing to how we might engage with film history today. Drawing on B. Ruby Rich’s (1998) concept of socially informed film criticism and curation to describe feminist film curating and programming as a form of activism and advocacy, my practice as research sets out to re-write a new archive out of historical absence. By offering a queer feminist intervention in the archive by attending to the archive’s precarity and invisibility through an ethics of queer and feminist care, my thesis will re-imagine through practice new archives of knowledge and feelings (Cvetkovich 2003) and living histories of feminist moving image practice.

Through discursive film screenings, oral history, digital archival activations and community archiving sessions I will ask why and how this rich decade of intersectional feminist film programming and curating might be remembered in the present for future generations.

About the Researcher

Selina Robertson is a PhD candidate in the Film, Media and Cultural Studies Department at Birkbeck College, University of London. She has published in Film Quarterly and other publications, as well as writing for the BFI. She has worked as a film programmer in cultural film exhibition since the late 1990s; at the BFI, the Film Council and since 2005 at the ICO, where she currently works part time. She co-programmed BFI Flare (formerly London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival) from 2003-2005. In 2007, she co-founded the queer feminist collective Club des Femmes with Sarah Wood.