Imagining a different reality: Filmmaking and Research
by Nicky Armstrong and Dr Evelyn Pauls
Scholars of the “aesthetic turn” in International Relations have broadened the scope of not only how to study international politics but also what to study (art forms, such as literature or film; aesthetic practices of states, such as military parades or national holidays; and visual material, such as photographs from Abu Ghraib). Bleiker and others have shown how “aesthetic sensibilities can help us rethink some of the most serious problems in global politics” and to find new ways of thinking, seeing, hearing, and sensing the political.
Drawing on the research project “I Have to Speak”, that used participatory documentary filmmaking to explore the long-term reintegration of female ex-combatants as both a method and a dissemination tool, we can look at filmmaking, its potential, and its challenges from three different perspectives: (1) Film as data; (2) film as method and (3) film as output.