Helen Hughes

Dr Helen Hughes


Senior Lecturer in Film Studies
BA (London) PhD (London)
+44 (0)1483 682837
24 AC 05
Tuesdays 1-3pm

Academic and research departments

School of Literature and Languages.

Biography

Areas of specialism

Documentary Studies; German-language Cinema; Film and the Environment

University roles and responsibilities

  • Deputy Chair of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Ethics Committee

Research

Research interests

Supervision

Postgraduate research supervision

My publications

Publications

Hughes Helen, Brady M (2005) "Diese Deutschen, Diese Briten: Documentary Filmmaking in Newcastle and Rostock", In: Berger S, Laporte N (eds.), The other Germany: Perceptions and Influences in British-East German Relations, 1945-1990 52 Wißner, Augsburg
On the collaboration between the British filmmaking collective Amber and GDR documentary filmmakers Winfried and Barbara Junge.
Hughes HA (2014) Environmental Documentary and the Networked Landscape,
This paper gives an account of ways in which recent documentary filmmakers and film essayists have used landscape as a tool to visualize connections between separate communities affected by similar environmental issues such as toxic waste (Blue Vinyl, 2002), tourist management (Peak, 2011), nuclear radiation (No Man's Zone, 2012) (Pandora's Promise, 2013), or resource extraction (Gasland, 2010) (Gasland 2, 2013). It puts forward a thesis that connects Christopher Wood?s work on the independent landscape in Albrecht Altdorfer and the Origins of Landscape (Wood, 1993), and Martin Lefebvre?s work on the modernist film landscape in Landscape and Film (Lefebvre, 2006), with Bruno Latour?s concept of the ?intermediary? in various works expounding his actor-network-theory. Latour complains that the attitude of twentieth century science has been: ?Let us not mix up heaven and earth, the global stage and the local scene, the human and the nonhuman? (Latour, 1991/1993). The paper seeks to examine how the environmental documentary might display an attempt to complicate the process of isolating landscape as landscape (as in Altdorfer? s painting), and of separating setting from landscape in modernist film (as in Antonioni), in order to maintain landscape as ?simultaneously real, social and narrated? (Latour, 1991/1993) and as an integrative, discursive argument for the purpose of establishing connections and collectives.
Hughes HA (2000) Films and Texts, In: Hughes HA, Brady M (eds.), Deutschland im Spiegel seiner Filme pp. 3-13 CILT, AMGS
Hughes HA (1996) "Dass er jetzt ein exempel statuieren werde": on Thomas Bernhard's exempel, German Life and Letters XLIX (3) pp. 373-386
Hughes HA (2011) Humans, sharks and the shared environment in the contemporary eco-doc, Environmental Education Research 17 (6) pp. 735-749 Taylor & Francis
Focussing on the film Sharkwater directed by Rob Stewart (2006), this article discusses formal interpretive aspects of recent environmental documentaries which are intended to raise awareness about environmental issues. It is argued that contemporary environmental documentaries seek to persuade audiences to protect the shared physical environment by increasing the amount of information and imagery available to a shared cognitive environment. An integral part of this process is the conscious awareness of attitudes towards information presented. In the case of recent environmental films about threatened species it is argued that the inclusion of the human and the wild animal in the frame is a technique used to raise awareness of the complex questions concerning human attitudes towards other animals as well as towards other human beings. It is argued in particular that activist films are concerned to make visible the necessity for human cooperation in the protection of endangered species.
Hughes HA (1997) The Hand as Text and Image: On Valie Export's 'Koerpersplitter', In: Morrison J, Krobb F (eds.), Text into image, image into text 20 Rodopi
Kluge A (2010) Seven Love Stories, The Paris Magazine (4) pp. 79-93 Shakespeare and Company
Translation of seven short texts by the filmmaker and television broadcaster, Alexander Kluge, in The Paris Magazine 4, June 2010.
Brady M, Hughes H (2006) Downfall and Beyond: Hitler Films from Germany, GFL-Journal (German as a Foreign Language) 3 pp. 94-114
Hughes HA, Brady M (1994) Death in Berlin: Reflections on Celan's DU LIEGST, EONTA 2 (2) pp. 12-15
Hughes HA (1994) visible bodies: introducing valie export's unsichtbare gegner, EONTA 2 (1) pp. 11-15
Hughes HA (2007) WE FEED THE WORLD: Contemporary European Documentaries on the problem of Food Production,
This presentation discussed the reasons behind the increasing numbers of European and US documentaries on food production as well as the development of links between documentary and online sources of information.

European Films

Les Glaneurs et La Glaneuse (aka The Gleaners and I), Agnès Varda, 78 minutes, 2000, France
Deux ans après (aka The Gleaners and I Two Years Later), Agnès Varda, 64 minutes, 2002, France
Mondovino, Jonathan Nossiter, 131 minutes, 2004, France
WE FEED THE WORLD ? Essen Global (aka WE FEED THE WORLD), Erwin Wagenhofer, 105 minutes, 2005, Austria
Unser täglich Brot (Our Daily Bread), Nikolaus Geyrhalter, 92 minutes, 2005, Austria
Black Gold, Marc Francis, Nick Francis, 78 minutes, 2006, UK

American Films

The Yes Men, Dan Ollman, Sarah Price, Chris Smith, 80 minutes, 2003, USA
The Corporation, Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott, 145 minutes, 2003, USA
Supersize Me, Morgan Spurlock, 100 minutes, 2004, USA
Wal-Mart - the High Cost of Low Price, Robert Greenwald, 95 minutes, 2005, USA

Hughes HA (2012) The visual rhetoric of climate change documentary, In: Carvalho A, Peterson TR (eds.), Climate Change Politics: Communication and Public Engagement pp. 87-120 Cambria Press
Contemporary documentary filmmakers use high angle extreme long shots, including aerial shots and space photography, to present evidence for the considerable effects of centuries of agriculture and industry on the environment. The visibility of large-scale landscape interventions and atmospheric effects generates spectacular visual content to persuade audiences of the reality of the theoretical evidence for climate change. And yet two quite distinct and opposing directions can be discerned in twenty-first century attitudes towards aerial images. The first takes the optimistic view that the rhetoric of environmentalism, supported by still and moving images, particularly of the whole planet, is creating a growing active response from audiences. The second is a more pessimistic concern that still and moving image technologies, integral to the predominantly visual culture of modernity, and particularly significant in the development of remote control surveillance and weaponry, themselves contribute to the distortion of habitable space. Discussion of several films including Davis Guggenheim?s An inconvenient truth (2006), Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand?s Everything?s Cool (2007), John Lyde?s The 11th Hour (2008), and Franny Armstrong?s The Age of Stupid (2009), illustrates the use of extreme long shots within the rhetoric of particular climate change documentaries.
Hughes H (2001) The Material World: A Comparison between Adalbert Stifter's historical novel Witiko and Robert Bresson's film Lancelot du Lac, In: Preece ODAJ (eds.), Travellers in Time and Space/Reisende durch Zeit und Raum. The German Historical Novel/Der deutschsprachige historische Roman pp. 199-208 Rodopi
Hughes HA (2014) Review: Catherine Wheatley, Michael Haneke?s Cinema: The Ethic of the Image, Berghahn, New York, Oxford: 2009, Studies in European Cinema 11 (2)
This is a review of Catherine Wheatley's book considering Michael Haneke's films as a development of critical modernist filmmaking in its emphasis on ethical spectatorship.
Hughes HA (2013) Arguments without words in Unser täglich Brot (Geyrhalter, 2005), Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies Taylor & Francis
In this article, I discuss the film Our Daily Bread [Geyrhalter, N. 2005. Unser täglich Brot [Motion Picture]. Austria: The ICA] as an almost wordless film, asking why the decision not to include interviews, intertitles or commentary, and to use carefully composed, often symmetrical framing, appears to have led reviewers to see it as an unusually democratic documentary. In my discussion, I refer to Richards' [1930. Practical Criticism. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner] four kinds of meaning in poetry, and Sperber and Wilson's ([1986]1995 Relevance: Communication and Cognition. Oxford: Blackwell) model of inferential communication guided by the principle of relevance, as a means to explore how authorial feeling about the subject is suppressed in the film, and how this might encourage the belief that the viewer makes up his/her own mind about what is made visible or ?mutually manifest?. Sperber et al.'s [2010. Epistemic Vigilance. Mind & Language 25, no. 4: 359?393] work on ?epistemic vigilance? and on the links between argumentation and communication is also drawn on in order to understand how separate kinds of reasoning involved simultaneously in the interpretation of the film create a dynamic ambiguity or ambivalence, which itself is the basis for the use of formal aesthetic devices in political art cinema.
Kluge A, Negt O (2014) History and Obstinacy, Zone Books
"If Marx?s opus Capital provided the foundational account of the forces of production in all of their objective, machine formats, what happens when the concepts of political economy are applied not to dead labor, but to its living counterpart, the human subject? The result is Alexander Kluge and Oskar Negt?s History and Obstinacy, a groundbreaking archaeology of the labor power that has been cultivated in the human body over the last two thousand years. Supplementing classical political economy with the insights of fields ranging from psychoanalysis and phenomenology to evolutionary anthropology and systems theory, History and Obstinacy reaches down into the deepest strata of unconscious thought, genetic memory, and cellular life to examine the complex ecology of expropriation and resistance."
Hughes HA (2012) The toxic materiality of the ecodoc,
The tension between the aspiration of a documentary to be green, eco or environmental and the environmentally unfriendly materiality of the filmmaking itself is not something that has been directly addressed by eco-cinema studies, although, as I shall argue in this paper, it can be seen to the basis of contrasting approaches to environmental documentary which is defined through consideration of the purpose and ethical value of its filmmaking practice. This paper seeks to bring out two broad responses to the question of how green documentary filmmaking can be. On the one hand an activist form typified by the work of Judith Helfand has been built on the foundations of community coalition building in which the value of the film lies in its capacity to bring the community together through clear messages and positive action in the transition from old (toxic, finite, celluloid) to new (organic, renewable, digital) technologies. On the other hand, the development of a contemplative form of documentary cinema, building on the aesthetic qualities of high definition digital video, points to cinema as a passive, alternative means to recalibrate human consciousness while separated from an environment perceived as both toxic and fragile (for example in the work of Nicholaus Geyrhalter). Although this paper contrasts approaches to environmental documentary as activist and contemplative, in conclusion it links them through mise-en-scène as a key aspect of environmental documentary, linking the changing materiality of the apparatus and of the environment.
Hughes H, Brady M (2000) Deutschland im Spiegel seiner Filme, Association for Modern German Studies
Hughes HA, Brady M (1995) German Film After the Wende, In: McKenzie JRP, Lewis D (eds.), The new Germany 13 pp. 276-296 Univ of Exeter Pr
The New Germany provides a picture of contemporary Germany from a variety of perspectives, establishing relationships between recent political events and sociey and cultural life.
Hughes HA (2015) Documentary and the survival of the film auteur: Agnès Varda, Werner Herzog and Spike Lee, In: Marcus D, Kara S (eds.), Contemporary Documentary pp. 142-155 Routledge
The careers of three auteur filmmakers, Agnès Varda, Werner Herzog, and Spike Lee, demonstrate that documentary has become an important part of the artistic and entrepreneurial strategy of contemporary independent filmmaking. The recent documentary work of each is placed in a context which demonstrates how the voice of the filmmaker can be found in a wide variety of film forms as well as in the promotional activities that surround them.
Hughes HA, Wölfel U (2009) Women in the workplace and the Development of DEFA documentary style., Glossen (29) Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
In the two decades since the fall of the Wall, the work of some of the documentary filmmakers of the German Democratic Republic has entered to some extent into the pages of English language documentary film histories. There is a full entry on the German Democratic Republic in the Encylopedia of the Documentary Film published in 2006 where they have been recognized for their development of a distinct aesthetic during the 1970s and 1980s to represent the work and workers of a twentieth century communist state. The more overtly propagandistic compilation films of Andrew and Annelie Thorndike during the 1940s and 1950s had already been described in Erik Barnouw?s history of documentary, together with the anti-Vietnam war films of Heynowski and Scheumann. The new generation of filmmakers working in the 1970s and 1980s, however, are not mentioned in later editions of Barnouw?s overview. This paper seeks to highlight the energy and commitment of DEFA documentary filmmakers in the seventies and eighties who sought to apply some of the principles of observation and cinema truth practised in Western Europe and the USA and shown and debated at the Leipzig documentary film festival.
Hughes HA (2015) Gothic Energy: the iconology of energy in the documentary archive,
The history of documentary abounds with images of energy production and consumption. Non-fiction formats have contributed considerably to framing the debates about the global development of the coal, oil, and gas industries, nuclear energy, hydroelectricity, biofuels, wind energy, and solar power. In the course of these efforts at representation and argument an iconography of energy production and consumption has accumulated which, with time, has become a great depository of images of spent energy, reviewing, recalling and reviving the projects and associations that are now past.
This paper comes out of a broader project ?Gothic Energy? exploring the documentary archive as the embodiment of spent energy. The kinetic energy of the moving image in the present reanimates the world around energy production and consumption including the conceptualisation of energy itself ? the source of warmth, heat, light, and movement - at the time the film was made. Part of the function of documentaries on energy has been the reconnection of energy to its sources once it became more abstract in the domestic sphere through the introduction of electricity into the home. This reconnection is now part of a history of ruins, preserved architecture, scarred landscapes. The paper will hence focus on the accumulation of the ghosts of energy, focussing particularly on the introduction of electricity and its role in the changing architecture and infrastructure of the home, exploring the how the representation of clean and invisible energy sources for the population connected with the corporate desire to celebrate the achievement of the extraction of energy from the earth?s resources, reappearing in the documentary film archive as history.
Hughes HA (2012) Scrutiny and Documentary: Hubert Sauper?s documentary film, Darwin?s Nightmare, Screen 53 (3) 3 pp. 246-265 Oxford University Press
This article is an attempt to understand the significance of the considerable textual complexity and fraught reception history of the film Darwin?s Nightmare which was made in Mwanza, Tanzania, at the beginning of the millennium, released in 2004, screened on French television in 2006, and discussed in court in Paris in 2008 and 2009. The film is discussed as an example of recent activist documentary which seeks to make visible the impacts of modernisation and globalisation on local communities. Problems that arise out of such ventures concern evaluation of the documentary?s truth claims. The article suggests that a model of communication and cognition initially developed as Relevance Theory by Dan Sperber and Deidre Wilson and developed more recently in articles on epistemic vigilance and argumentation, offers a way to maintain the truth claims made by activist documentary filmmakers, while acknowledging the creativity of both the production process and the process of interpretation.
Hughes HA (2014) Green Documentary: Environmental Documentary in the 21st Century, Intellect Books
During the first decade of the twenty-first century, a stunning array of documentary films focusing on environmental issues, representing the world on the brink of ecological catastrophe, has been met with critical and popular acclaim. This cohesive and accessible volume is the first book-length study of environmental documentary filmmaking, offering a coherent analysis of controversial and high-profile documentary films such as Gasland, An Inconvenient Truth, Manufactured Landscapes, and The Cove. With analysis that includes the wider context of environmental documentary filmmaking, such as Modern Life and Sleep Furiously, about local rural communities in Britain and Europe, Green Documentary also contributes to the ongoing debate on representing the crisis.
Hughes Helen (2017) Coming to Terms with the Present: Andreas Dresen's Wichmann Films (2003/2012), In: Preece J, Hodgin N (eds.), Andreas Dresen (7) 7 Peter Lang
Hughes HA (2012) Framing Humans and Wild Animals in the Environmental Documentary Film., The Cultural Framing of Environmental Discourse (online) Cultural Framing of Environmental Discourse (CFOED)
This paper discusses the effects of the decision to include humans and other animals in the same frame in environmental documentaries. After a short discussion on the combination of environmental thought and the documentary concept, a number of examples of texts, documentary films and experimental films are discussed in which the inclusion of people and wild animals in the same frame provokes explicit reflection. The inclusive framing strategies of contemporary environmental documentaries are then introduced in this context: Sharkwater (Stewart, 2006), The Cove (Psihoyos, 2009) and Early Learning (Bortkiewicz, 2009).
Hughes HA (2016) Review: The Autobiographical Turn in Germanophone Documentary and Experimental Film eds by Robin Curtis and Angelica Fenner, Seminar: a journal of Germanic studies 52 (3) pp. 349-351
Brady M, Hughes H (1993) German Feature Films, Glenbuck Films, BFI, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Goethe-Institut
Hughes HA (2015) Between departments: the uses of corporate documentary in environmental communication,
This paper will present work in progress on the ways in which organizations use short documentary forms for their environmental communication activities, moving on from ideas put forward in Green Documentary (Hughes, 2014). In the context of debates about hydraulic fracturing, online video has been used for advocacy, putting forward arguments that represent different points of view and that include explicit refutations of other online videos. This paper, however, looks at a different context for online environmental video, namely the context of corporate social responsibility or CSR and the video representing corporate sponsorship and promotion of sustainability activities. This kind of video has developed as a means to present the ?social face? of corporations but also of other types of institution. They are closely connected with but not the same as marketing videos. They promote not only the activity portrayed but also the sponsoring organization and also the makers of the video itself. In their promotion of both their patrons and their makers and in their focus on the environment as fragile and in need of support, they can be seen as contemporary versions of the Vanitas painting that developed in the context of the Dutch Golden Age.
Hughes HA (2012) Introduction to Peter Nestler's 'The Waiting' (1985) and 'The North Calotte' (1990/1) at Tate Modern London on 10th November 2012,
In this short talk I spoke about the relationship between the two films and contemporary social activist filmmaking particularly in the area of environmental justice campaigns. Environmental justice is a term that began to emerge in the 1980s and brought together issues around environmental degradation and social injustice. Both of the films screened relate to this conjunction of environmental degradation and the unfair impacts of industry on minority groups and on industrial workers. One of the films looks back to the history of mining accidents in Central Europe, and the other at the long history of the marginalisation of a northern indigenous people, the Sami, more commonly known as the Lapps. Both films together demonstrate the effects of industrial development on landscapes, and the indifference of industry and governments about the quality of life of the people affected. As films they are thus both part of the project of social documentary to make issues of environmental and spatial justice more publically visible.
Hughes H, Brady M (2002) Kafka Adapted to Film, In: Preece J (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Kafka pp. 226-241 Cambridge University Press
Hughes HA (1998) German Cinema, In: Kolinsky E, Will WVD (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Modern German Culture 14 pp. 302-321 Cambridge University Press
Hughes HA (2008) Review of 'Verschollen im Meer der Medien: Kafkas Romanfragment "Amerika": Zur Rekonstruktion und Deutung eines Medienkomplexes (Lost in a media seascape: Kafka's fragmentary novel "America": the reconstruction and interpretation of a media complex), The German Quarterly 81 (3) pp. 361-362 Wiley
Hughes HA (2009) Local Geography,
This paper presents the beach as a horizontal space that provides both a tactile
surrounding blanket of sand, sea, stones and crustaceans, and a flattened, gradated
platform viewable from the cliffs around as on the edge of life. This presentation will
explore these contrasting perspectives and atmospheres with reference to the speaker?s
own experiences of growing up on the Pembrokeshire coast, digging, exploring sand dune
complexes, climbing cliffs and perfecting her tan, as well as her attempts to map onto her
own experiences kindred representations in paintings, films and philosophy.
For example, Agnes Varda, documentary and fiction filmmaker and installation artist
introduced her most recent and reportedly her last film The Beaches of Agnes (2008) by
saying: ?If you opened people up, you would find landscapes; if you opened me up, you
would find beaches.? In her film Varda uses the beach as an adaptable performance space
to structure a wide-ranging account of her life and her life?s work in film: the playful, the
inventive, the surreal, and the melancholy.
In using the beach in the film, as well as in photographs and installations, Varda, taps into
the playful space of generations that have holidayed there. In The Production of Space
Henri Lefebvre claimed: ?The beach is the only place of enjoyment that the human species
has discovered in nature.? He also famously declared ?beneath the pavement, the beach?.
At the same time, however, Lefebvre laments the tendency for the ?true appropriation? of
this natural space to ?turn into its opposite ? total passivity on the beach, mere
contemplation of the spectacle of sea and sun.?
The northern European beach has provided a locus for the expression of deep melancholy,
particularly in Expressionist paintings such as Edvard Munch?s ?Evening. (Melancholia: On
the Beach)? or ?Young Woman on the Beach. (The Lonely One)?. Margaret Tate?s films,
particularly her Blue Black Permanent (1992), which expresses the memories of a
daughter, whose mother kills herself by swimming out to sea, capture the overwhelming
power of the Scottish coast, the dominance of the environment and the submergence of
the self within it.
Hughes HA (2013) The Visual Rhetoric of Climate Change Documentaries: Aerial Shots and Interviews, Proceedings of the Conferences on Communication and Environment
This paper discusses the ways in which a number of documentary films on climate change attempt to represent a consensus view through the use of the aerial perspective. It analyses the ways in which conflicting uses of the aerial view, to represent both industrial progress and environmental damage, are reconciled in documentaries such as An Inconvenient Truth. It goes on to discuss the relationship between the aerial perspective and the interviews also represented in the films, with the latter demonstrating a wide variety of possible political interventions. Like aerial shots, interviews are used to construct consensus and conflict but they can also demonstrate the difficulties in generating genuine participation and in using conflict constructively.
Hughes HA (2016) 'The essential is sufficient': the Kafka adaptations of Orson Welles, Straub-Huillet, and Michael Haneke, In: Biderman S, Lewit I (eds.), Mediametamorphosis: Kafka and the Moving Image Wallflower
Hughes HA (2014) Rational Disasters: Reasoning in new documentaries on living with nuclear power.,
In one of his books on Gaia, James Lovelock argued that the best way to protect the rain forests of Latin America would be to store nuclear waste in them (Lovelock J. , 2006, p. 91). The ?hungry farmers and developers? would all abandon the area and leave it to the wildlife to flourish. It is not unusual for nuclear energy to provoke such unusual argumentative strategies, and it continues to have supporters despite disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, with experts claiming that the general public has been led astray by a misleading campaign associating a low carbon source of energy with the technology of warfare.
This paper explores two European films Pripyat (Geyrhalter, Austria, 1999), and Into Eternity (Madsen, Finland, 2008), which both present measured, controlled and reasonable accounts of arguments around nuclear energy production and its future. In different ways they both demonstrate the debates about everyday life and risk as it is lived in the present as well as the necessity of integrating the nuclear question into the debate about the future. The paper will take the case of nuclear energy as a means to explore how each film establishes a localized network of relationships between agents involved in the argumentation strategies as they are developed in audiovisual forms, including landscapes, local inhabitants, workers, flora and fauna, experts, and policy makers.

Bibliography
Geyrhalter, N. (Director). (1999). Pripyat [Motion Picture]. Austria.
Latour, B. (1993). We have never been modern. (C. Porter, Trans.) Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Latour, B. (2004). Politics of nature: how to bring the sciences into democracy. (C. Porter, Trans.) Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: Harvard University Press.
Lovelock, J. (2006). The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth if Fighting Back - and How We Can Still Save Humanity. London: Allen Lane.
Madsen, M. (Director). (2008). Into Eternity: A Film for the Future [Motion Picture]. Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Italy.
Mercier, H., & Sperber, D. (2011). Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 34, 57-11.

Hughes HA (2013) The philosophy of staged dialogue: Joseph Beuyss Ja Ja Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee Nee Nee (1968),
This paper aims to explore the relationship between conversation and dialogue in performance looking at how pragmatics and phenomenology might interrelate to give an account of the both static and dynamic role of staged verbal communication. Dialogue represents the capacity for collective thinking and community but it poses several problems.

Paul Grice?s cooperative principle developed in his William James Lectures is one starting point for the understanding of conversation as a collective enterprise. Sperber and Wilson have developed the cooperative principle by discussing the problem posed for pragmatic accounts of linguistic communication by the problem of mutual knowledge. How do partners in conversation know what their conversational partner knows so that they know what to say? Sperber and Wilsons solution is to weaken the idea of mutual knowledge and to replace it with the ideas of mutual manifestness and a shared cognitive environment. In this paper I will argue that such philosophical problems posed by the phenomenon of conversation are explored in the abstraction and staging of dialogue. Josef Beuys?s Ja Ja Ja Ja Ja Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne is a conceptualization and staging of the essentials of conversation pointing to it as a collective activity that at times affirms and at times negates the unity of the speaker and hearer.

The idea of dialogue as an object which can be staged will be explored using Graham Harman?s development of Heidegger?s distinction between Dasein and Vorhandensein in his discussion of causation. Harman explains the burning candle as a unified object that changes within, rather than as one object ? the flame ? acting on another ? the candle. Similarly, it will be argued that the partners in dialogue represent the unity of conversation (although this representation is made problematic through the knowledge that the dialogue is scripted). The actors? role is to represent the spontaneous development of dialogue as an agent for unity and for change from within. Change within the unity of dialogue represents development for the parts within the whole as the object grows, ceases to exist, or becomes something else.

Josef Beuys?s ideas about the artist involved an understanding of art as a collective social activity and as an agent for change. His Ja Ja Ja Ja Ja Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne is understood as an exploration of the unity of the community as it develops and of the possible redefinition of the community as a whole rather than as a numbe

Hughes HA (2012) The Everyday Between Heaven and Earth in Michael Pilz's 'Himmel und Erde' (Austria 1979-82),
This paper focuses on Michael Pilz?s Himmel und Erde, a documentary film based around footage shot over two years largely by Pilz himself from February 1980 in an Ortschaft called Obdach in the mountains in Steiermark, Austria with the main focus on the village of Sankt Anna. The film is in two parts entitled Die Ordnung der Dinge / The Order of Things and Der Lauf der Dinge / The Course of Things and is pervaded by the contemplative personality of the director.
Hughes HA (1999) Documenting the Wende: The Films of Andreas Voigt, In: Allan S, Sandford J (eds.), Defa: East German Cinema 1946-1992 16 pp. 283-301 Berghahn
Gasland (Fox, 2010) is famous for its images of flammable water pouring from the faucets of US citizens affected by the development of ?fracking?, a technique to extract gas from shale. Using this image, Josh Fox argues that his ?backyard?, land owned by his family, is ?everybody?s backyard? and that the federal state is responsible for protecting it from development to maintain clean water for the future. This paper reports on the impact of this film on energy debates and, drawing on recent papers on collective thinking (Mercier & Sperber, 2011), explores the ways in which sponsored films such as Truthland (2010), and The Grand Energy Transition (Mellott, 2012) attempt to oppose its strongly culturally coded understanding of both individualism and collectivity, rooted in alternative political movements in 1960s America, and enshrined in the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act during the 1970s. Works Cited Fox, J. (Director). (2010). Gasland [Motion Picture]. USA. Mellott, G. (Director). (2012). The Grand Energy Transition [Motion Picture]. Mercier, H., & Sperber, D. (2011). Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 34, 57-11. Truthland (2010). [Motion Picture]. Retrieved July 4, 2012, from http://www.youtube.com/user/TruthlandMovie
Andrews S, Lawrence K, Hughes H (2009) Particles in Space,
Particles in Space is a model of tourist performance for revealing ideas in a scientific laboratory, in which technology can appear more dominant than the practices and ideas being applied. As scientists examine the back-scattering of particles fromthe use of an ion beam, this performance intervention creates a similar back-scattering of multiple, fragmentary and divergent artistic practices, to be considered by participants. The tourist performance walk engages in scattered practices, which are themselves responses to laboratory practices. The research reframes the movement of tourist practice, using performance to reveal ideas, practices and effects of intervention.
Hughes HA (2015) From iconophobia to nomophobia: remote sensory ethnography?,
The kind of anthropology practised by the sensory ethnography project blurs the boundaries between ethnographic filmmaking and contemporary art. Contemporary art has, through documentary photography since World War II, been merging with social science just as social science has been making friends with ethnography. Photographic representation has, as Walter Benjamin predicted, become a means through which new knowledge about human communities and culture has been created and accumulated and from which new analysis of the human condition has been steadily emerging. These mergers between different fields have something very elegant about them, culminating in something now called convergence in the digital era, but it does present some problems which can be seen in the extensive discussion of the films Sweetgrass (2009) directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilsa Barbash and Leviathan (2012) directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel and their connection with the project of sensory ethnography at the University of Harvard.
Hughes HA (2007) Beautiful Food: Representing the Gap between the Production and Representation of Food,
Erwin Wagenhofer's documentary film WE FEED THE WORLD (2005) has become the most successful documentary film in Austria. It is a film that portrays the mass production methods used in modern agriculture. As a film it seeks to educate viewers who - as one worker in the film puts it - have lost contact with the reality of food production or factory farming. The images which move from tomatoes to aubergines to fish and to chickens are accompanied by interviews concerning quality versus low prices, working conditions, regional development, European regulation and standardization.

This paper aims to explore the presentation of food production issues and the display of food products in Wagenhofer?s film in the context of current campaigns aimed at changing consumer behaviour. While political issues such as the effects of privatization on Eastern European agriculture, the European Union?s Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy, and the problem of malnutrition in Brazil and India are discussed, the images portray the techniques used to produce huge quantities of food. These images are often strikingly beautiful, reminiscent not only of the images used for food advertising but also of the exploration of raw materials to be found in conceptual and minimalist art, particularly art that explores materials. The attractiveness of the produce together with the brutality of the production process in the documentary film represents the ambivalent position of the contemporary European consumer.

This paper sets this film in the context of other European documentary films referring to the production and consumption of food as a problem in contemporary European society: films such as Agnes Varda's Les Glaneurs et la Glaneuse (2000) about the law and ethics around the harvesting of left-overs, Jonathan Nossiter's Mondovino (2004) about the importation of modern new world wine-making techniques into old Europe, popular taste and US takeover bids, and a second Austrian film that appeared in 2005, Nicolaus Geyrhalter's Unser täglich Brot (Our Daily Bread) which presents similar imagery to Wagenhofer?s as a collage without commentary. These are explored together as a debate on the contribution of aesthetics to the perception of mass production as beautiful but ethically flawed.

Hughes HA (2010) Review 'Shell Shock Cinema: Weimar Culture and the Wounds of War', Sight & Sound magazine 20 (4) pp. 93-93 British Film Institute
Review of Anton Kaes's book on Weimar cinema. Publishes as Hughes HA (2010). Review 'Shell Shock Cinema: Weimar Culture and the Wounds of War'. Sight & Sound Magazine, 20(4), 93-93.
Hughes, Helen A (2017) Documentary and Disability, Palgrave Macmillan UK
This edited collection of contributions from media scholars, film practitioners and film historians connects the vibrant fields of documentary and disability studies. Documentary film has not only played an historical role in the social construction of disability but continues to be a strong force for expression, inclusion and activism. Offering essays on the interpretation and conception of a wide variety of documentary formats, Documentary and Disability reveals a rich set of resources on subjects as diverse as Thomas Quasthoff?s opera performances, Tourette syndrome in the developing world, queer approaches to sexual functionality, Channel 4 disability sports broadcasting, the political meaning of cochlear implant activation, and Christoph?s Schlingensief?s celebrated Freakstars 3000.
Hughes HA (2012) Humans, sharks and the shared environment in the contemporary eco-doc, In: Blewitt J (eds.), The Media, Animal Conservation and Environmental Education 3 Routledge
Focussing on the film Sharkwater directed by Rob Stewart (2006), this article discusses formal interpretive aspects of recent environmental documentaries which are intended to raise awareness about environmental issues. It is argued that contemporary environmental documentaries seek to persuade audiences to protect the shared physical environment by increasing the amount of information and imagery available to a shared cognitive environment. An integral part of this process is the conscious awareness of attitudes towards information presented. In the case of recent environmental films about threatened species it is argued that the inclusion of the human and the wild animal in the frame is a technique used to raise awareness of the complex questions concerning human attitudes towards other animals as well as towards other human beings. It is argued in particular that activist films are concerned to make visible the necessity for human cooperation in the protection of endangered species.
Kluge A (2007) Cinema Stories, New Directions
Hughes HA (1994) The Bureaucratic Muse: On Thomas Bernhard's 'Exempel', Adalbert Stifter's 'Der Kuss von Sentze', Franz Kafka's 'In der Strafkolonie', and Oswald Wiener's 'die verbesserung von mitteleuropa, roman'.,
Hughes HA (2015) Adrian J. Ivakhiv (2013) Ecologies of the Moving Image: Cinema, Affect, Nature, Film-Philosophy 19 (Reviews)
Brady M, Hughes Helen (2010) Import and Export: Ulrich Seidl's Indiscreet Anthropology of Migration, In: von Dassanowsky R, Speck OC (eds.), New Austrian Film (15) Berghahn
Austrian director Ulrich Seidl?s documentary and fiction films have received international recognition, and aroused considerable controversy, for their extreme subject matter (xenophobia, deprivation, physical and sexual violence) and for their inimitable style (obsessive symmetry and static tableaux). As a ?Berufs-Oppositionskünstler? who refuses to offer straightforward political solutions he has been compared to German directors Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Christoph Schlingensief and his compatriot Michael Haneke. This article examines three films by Seidl, spanning his career to date, which have the theme of migration as their subject: Good News (1990), a study of migrant newspaper vendors in Vienna, Mit Verlust ist zu rechnen (1992), a post-Wende documentary on a failed courtship across the Austrian-Czech border, and the feature film Import Export (2007), which tells the story of bi-directional migration between Austria and the Ukraine. Seidl?s ?anthropology of migration? is examined in the context of Jean Rouch?s cinéma-vérité, and his hyper-stylization is demonstrated to offer a unique way of looking both at contemporary migration and at migrants themselves. Shifts in the portrayal of borders since unification are examined, and Seidl?s unflinching camera is shown not only to ?voyeurise the voyeurs?, but also to gaze severely yet democratically on transnational movements in the ?new Europe?.
Brady M, Hughes H (2008) 'Import and Export: Ulrich Seidl's Indiscreet Anthropology of Migration', Journal German as a Foreign Language (GFL) (1) pp. 100-122 GFL
Austrian director Ulrich Seidl?s documentary and fiction films have received international recognition, and aroused considerable controversy, for their extreme subject matter (xenophobia, deprivation, physical and sexual violence) and for their inimitable style (obsessive symmetry and static tableaux). As a ?Berufs-Oppositionskünstler? who refuses to offer straightforward political solutions he has been compared to German directors Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Christoph Schlingensief and his compatriot Michael Haneke. This article examines three films by Seidl, spanning his career to date, which have the theme of migration as their subject: Good News (1990), a study of migrant newspaper vendors in Vienna, Mit Verlust ist zu rechnen (1992), a post-Wende documentary on a failed courtship across the Austrian-Czech border, and the feature film Import Export (2007), which tells the story of bi-directional migration between Austria and the Ukraine. Seidl?s ?anthropology of migration? is examined in the context of Jean Rouch?s cinéma-vérité, and his hyper-stylization is demonstrated to offer a unique way of looking both at contemporary migration and at migrants themselves. Shifts in the portrayal of borders since unification are examined, and Seidl?s unflinching camera is shown not only to ?voyeurise the voyeurs?, but also to gaze severely yet democratically on transnational movements in the ?new Europe?.
Brylla C, Hughes HA (2017) Introduction: The Bricolage of Documentary and Disability, In: Brylla C, Hughes HA (eds.), Documentary and Disability pp. 1-10 Palgrave Macmillan UK
This is an edited collection of essays exploring the intersection between documentary film and disability studies. It is intended to fill a gap in both disciplines: on the one hand, documentary studies need to discuss contemporary portrayals of disability, practices of disabled filmmakers and industry policies that determine access, inclusion and representation; on the other hand, disability studies need to adopt more explicit methodologies that explore film texts, authorship and spectatorship in order to assess the current situation of disability in the television and independent documentary sector. On a more social level, the purpose of this volume is to address the medial construction of disability and reduce ?otherness? as a phenomenon of cultural stigmatisation.
Hughes HA (2013) The Visual Rhetoric of Climate Change Documentaries: Aerial Shots and Interviews, Proceedings of the Conference on Communication and the Environment IECA
This paper discusses the ways in which a number of documentary films on climate change attempt to represent a consensus view through the use of the aerial perspective. It analyses the ways in which conflicting uses of the aerial view, to represent both industrial progress and environmental damage, are reconciled in documentaries such as An Inconvenient Truth. It goes on to discuss the relationship between the aerial perspective and the interviews also represented in the films, with the latter demonstrating a wide variety of possible political interventions. Like aerial shots, interviews are used to construct consensus and conflict but they can also demonstrate the difficulties in generating genuine participation and in using conflict constructively.
Hughes Helen (2017) On Andrew Kötting's Mapping Perception, In: Hughes Helen, Brylla C (eds.), Documentary and Disability pp. 275-289 Palgrave Macmillan UK
In this chapter Hughes identifies Andrew Kötting?s collaborative film Mapping Perception (1998?2002) as an innovative experimental documentary about disability that is still worth viewing today. She develops an interpretation of the film that focuses on the performance of Andrew Kötting?s daughter Eden, who was diagnosed with Joubert syndrome as a baby. The collaboration between the scientists and the artistically gifted Kötting family is viewed as the kind of investigation into dis/ability proposed by Michael Schillmeier in his book Rethinking Disability. The complex manipulation of the aesthetics of filmmaking becomes meaningful through the representation of Eden reflecting on her own life, her articulation of the words that describe her condition and her own agency as a disabled person responding to the demands of the filming process.
Vertical dance is a new and collaborative form of dance that typically utilises rock climbing equipment to suspend dancers against a range of vertical surfaces in public spaces. Its effects are to alter familiar systems we use to orientate ourselves in space and to produce or change social spaces. My pedagogical practice (2002 ? the present day) and a portfolio of choreographic outputs (created and performed between 2009 and 2015) are of primary importance in my investigation into how I perceive space when dancing on a tilted floor and how this vertical stage and its location in social space influences my choreographic practice. The thesis begins with a manifesto for vertical dance that condenses the central arguments into a set of instructions. There follows a categorization of the form using prototype theory (Wittgenstein, 1953;; Rosch, 1978;; Lakoff, 1987) applied to a set of vertical dance case studies from the 1970s to the present day. I discuss how the specific spatial parameters of vertical dance affect how a dancer orientates herself on a vertical floor, and how a choreographer on the ground communicates with a dancer on a wall above, drawing on spatial theories in dance and cognitive linguistics (Laban, 1966;; Levinson et al., 2002 and Lakoff and Johnson, 1980). Lefebvre?s (1974) work on the production of social space as an intersecting triad of spatial practice, representation of space and representational spaces, and recent site-specific discourse (Kwon, (2004), Kester (2004)), (e.g. Kaye (2001), Hunter et al. (2015), Pearson (2010), Kloetzel and Pavlik (2009)) are used to analyse how space is produced and changed, and how the built environment is reminded of nature through the vertical dancing body at diverse locations such as Belfast City Hall, Welsh Government offices, a WW2 German submarine station in France and Guildford Cathedral.
Hughes Helen (2019) The Story of Atoms at Work (Crown Film Unit, 1952), Screen 60 (1) Oxford University Press
Hughes Helen (2018) Literally Documenting her Voice: Valie Export's Vocal-Visual Experiments with Screen Media, In: Pramaggiore Maria, Honess Roe Annabelle (eds.), Vocal Projections: Voices in Documentary Bloomsbury Academic
Valie Export is an artist, filmmaker, curator and educator whose work has been central to the feminist avant-garde. Beginning in the 1960s the radical, politicized approach taken by women artists working both independently and in collectives in many different countries came to be associated with the Second Wave of Feminism. A central achievement of the movement has been to destabilize the understanding of art as the product of male genius (Schor 2016: 23). In the process of building gender consciousness, the strengthening of the female voice within and across the institutions of politics, education and culture has also been a goal. As with the image, however, the very idea of the female voice has required deconstruction.