History, Heritage and Archives: The politics of the audio-visual past

Date & Time:

17th November, 16:00


Online event; the link will be sent to those who register.


Presentations by Rasha Salti and Dr. Vicky Ball.

Rasha Salti (Independent Researcher, Writer and Curator) Dancing with Ghosts: Archives and Curatorial Practice

The presentation proposes to explore aspects surrounding the question of archive from its vexed angles, namely the question of factuality, truth-telling and the knowledge that can be extracted from photographic and audio-visual archives in the absence standard indexical, documentary information attached to each item. In addition, drawing on several research-based curatorial projects, the presentation will address the degree of subjective and affective projection, and of the colonial legacy and the different logics of control and access of the neoliberal capitalist mindset in our postcolonial present.

Dr. Vicky Ball (De Montfort University) Disruptive femininities in ‘Play for Today’: Still Waters and Not for the Likes of Us

This paper explores plays contributed by women writers to the BBC’s flagship series Play for Today. Broadcast between 1970 and 1984, Play for Today was produced during a period of significant ‘gender trouble’ in the UK. Whereas feminist research of series and soaps, film, literature and theatre have been well documented for their responses to the liberalizing movements of the 1960s and1970s, the same cannot be said of the single play on television. This is despite the form’s reputation for dealing with socio-political issues and, in the instance of Play for Today, producing ‘state of the nation’ (Matheson 2020) pieces. This paper explores how Still Waters (Julia Jones 1972) and Not for the Likes of Us (Gilly Fraser 1980) disrupt normative definitions of femininity in and through their embodiment of feminist politics. As such, this paper begins to assess the contributions made by women writers to the single play and their significance in terms of the histories of both women and British television drama.

About the speakers:

Rasha Salti is a researcher, writer and curator of art and film. Since 2017, she is commissioning editor for the experimental documentary slot, La Lucarne at Arte France.

Dr Vicky Ball is Senior Lecturer in Cinema and Television Histories at De Montfort University in Leicester (UK). She is the investigator on the BA/Leverhulme project entitled ‘’Play for Today’ at 50: Women Writers and Writing Women into Histories of British Television Drama’. She was recently co-investigator on the AHRC funded project ‘Women’s Work, Working Women: A Longitudinal Study of Women Working in the Film and Television Industries (1933-1989)’. Most recently she is the co-editor of ‘Structures of Feeling: Contemporary Research in Women’s Film and Broadcasting history,’ a special themed issue of Women’s History Review.