Recuperating narratives, mediums, and creativities


Inquiring healing across screen cultures:
Recuperating narratives, mediums, and creativities

1-2 June 2021; online

There has always been a desire and necessity to tell the difficult times, to uncover how they have been lived. Letters were written, diaries were kept, cameras captured the moments. Memories, narratives, images, and utterances have been shared across all kinds of media in diverse forms. Do these exposures have a capacity to heal us or others? Or do they trap us in our traumas by constantly reproducing them? What kinds of recuperating potentials can we ascribe to our screen cultures across film, media, and art in troubling times?

Amid the turbulent events of our age that rapidly emerge and expand in personal, social, and political realms, we are prompted to explore questions of healing. During a global pandemic, and while we are spending more and more time on the screens, this workshop aims at a critical inquiry of the recuperating forms, mediums, and creativities across screen cultures. Experienced in bodies, homes, institutions, environments, and borders, difficult times can leave us in loss, deprivation, confusion, anxiety, fear, and grief. Yet, as the great number of cultural and artistic works and everyday practices show, these are also the times when transformative questions, ideas, and practices of recovery can flourish. In this workshop, we understand healing not necessarily as the complete recovery but as exploring transformative possibilities and creative agencies for living with and acting on the difficult times.

In Sara Ahmed’s (2014) words, “healing does not cover over, but exposes the wound to others: the recovery is a form of exposure.” [1] For Davina Quinlivan (2014), film functions as a reparative object that “encourages the mediation of trauma beyond its representational qualities, and envisages a kind of ‘healing’ through the very texture of its material attributes and multisensory images.” [2] In this sense, we pay critical attention to the ways screen cultures deal with and manifest traumas, wounds, and injuries. By rethinking recuperative potentials of narrative devices, performances, mediums, and everyday practices across film, media, and art, this workshop aims to explore ideas about and possibilities of healing through creative agencies around the screen.

Inspired and intrigued by these ideas, we aim to critically explore a series of questions: How can we think of narratives, aesthetics, and forms as recuperative possibilities? How do film, media, and art treat difficult times, traumas, convalescents, and their possible transformations towards healing? Is it possible to access and construe trauma through screen media? How do people engage in screen cultures and explore possibilities for individual and collective healing through everyday creativities? What kind of subject positions does screen media practice suggest for the wounded / the hurt / the spectator? What kind of hierarchies and power relations are involved? How can we critically approach the industries of healing that emerge or become popular in times of crisis? How do they make use of the momentum as political tools and new modes of consumer culture?

Suggested topics might include (but not limited to):
Soothing affects of the screen
Imaginations and fantasies of healing
Gendered aspects of healing, queer healing
Racial healing
Exilic and migratory healing
Colonial / postcolonial healing, decoloniality and healing
Politics and networks of care and solidarity
Practices of self and their possibilities for physical and psychical healing
Remembering / forgetting and memorabilia
Ecological healing

Please submit your abstract of 300 words by 31 March 2021 to: and

Deadline for abstracts: 31 March 2021
Notification of acceptance: 9 April 2021
Workshop dates: 1 - 2 June 2021

Özgür Çiçek, Freie Universität Berlin, Cinepoetics
Özlem Savaş, Bard College Berlin

[1] Ahmed, S. (2014). Cultural politics of emotion. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
[2] Quinlivan, D. (2014). “Film, healing and the body in crisis: a twenty-first century aesthetics of hope and reparation.” Screen, 55(1), 103-117.