Ephemeral cinemas in historical perspective

If you have found this page it is probably because you received a participant information note and want to find out more about the research I am conducting, or I sent you a link. So please let me explain…

Who am I?

My name is Maria Velez-Serna. I work as a researcher and teacher in Communications, Media and Culture at the University of Stirling. The project I am working on is entitled ‘Ephemeral cinemas in historical perspective: exploring ‘pop-up’ sociability’. It is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and runs between 2015 and 2018.

What’s the project about?

It’s about film screenings in places that are not permanent cinemas, and about the kind of social spaces they make possible. My background is in cinema history so my research questions are mostly about the relationship between today’s exhibition practices and historical phenomena like travelling exhibition, film societies, cine-clubs, community cinemas, political and educational screenings, etc.

But my cinema is not ephemeral! We’ve been around for ages. I realise the title may be misleading. What I mean is that the space itself is a cinema for a few hours, and then ‘not a cinema’. But we can talk about what ‘being a cinema’ means…

How will I be doing the research?

This is a mixed-methods project that includes:

  • Observation (I go to public screenings and meetings)
  • Archive research (I look for old brochures, reports, documents, and newspaper articles)
  • Interviews
  • Participation in meetings and workshops

The research abides by the University’s code of Research Ethics. This includes ensuring the confidentiality of data, right to privacy, and the right to withdraw from the study. I want this to be a mutually beneficial process, that can produce useful insights and outcomes for those involved.

What do I want to produce?

I am writing a book and several articles, which I intend to make public freely. I have also started this website, which will contain general information about the screenings I am attending, as well as a work-in-progress blog.

Sounds good? Not so good?

Please get in touch if you want to get involved with the project, if you have any questions, or if you are concerned about your participation and would like to withdraw.