Selina’s PhD research

About This Project

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

I am interested in the relationship between feminist moving image history, memory and the archive; specifically how collective memory, as emotional knowledge, passes through communities, across generations, contributing to how we might engage with film history now. Through a methodology of ‘curatorial advocation’, a term coined by B. Ruby Rich (1997) to describe a practice of feminist film curating, programming and archiving as an activist and social practice, my research sets out to construct a new archive out of historical absence. By offering a queer feminist intervention in the archive, attending to the archive’s precarity and invisibility through an ethics of queer and feminist care, my thesis will imagine through practice new archives of knowledge and feelings (Cvetkovich 2003) and living histories of feminist moving image.

Through film and video screenings, oral history interviews, archival activations and community archiving sessions I will ask why and how this decade of intersectional feminist curatorial advocation might be remembered, represented in the present and for the future.

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.