Sylvie Lindeperg (Université de Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne)
The Path of Images: Between Documentary Value and Spectral Power
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This lecture recounts three stories of film shoots in the spring and sum- mer of 1944: in an insurgent Paris and in the transit camps of Terezin in Czechoslovakia and Westerbork in the Netherlands. If the filmed image is not taken as evidence illustrating historic knowledge established outside itself, then–in its fragility and deficiencies–it opens the path to a history of the perceptible inscribed as closely as possible on the bodies of those who caused an historical event to happen or those who were its victims. The image opens up the mental world of the historical agents to us and allows us to take in the unthought of an epoch. Such an approach presupposes a “magnified view” of cinema that attends to details and indices, and privileges a “hands-on” relationship with the archives. This quest for the source of images also leads back to an engagement with questions about the place of art in the heart of barbarism, ambivalences about “artistic collaboration,” and the capability of cinema to become a tool of liberation or resistance.
In cooperation with the Institut français d’histoire en Allemagne (IFHA).
Sylvie Lindeperg is a Professor of History at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, where she runs the CERHEC (Centre of Studies and Research in the History and Aesthetics of Cinema). She is the author of several books, including: Les Ecrans de l’ombre ; Clio de 5 à 7 ; Nuit et Brouillard. Un film dans l’histoire; Univers concentrationnaire et genocide (with Annette Wieviorka); D’Arusha à Arusha (with Christophe Gargot and Thierry Cruvellier); and La Voie des images. Lindeperg was the joint scientific director of several multimedia publications, including Images de guerre 1940–1945. She is the co-author of Jean-Louis Comolli’s film Face aux fantômes.