Andrew Chesher's "dialogical documentary"

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Origins of the term documentary:

  • Andrew Chesher's thesis, Documentary as an Intervention in the Social World, begins with introducing the term documentary and observing how John Grierson's initial sense of the term has been taken up in the sixty-five years since its proposal. Chesher observes Bill Nichols' use of the term in particular. Nichols, who was familiar with Grierson's understanding, describes this practice as "being guided by a fundamental preoccupation with the representation of the historical world" (as quoted in AC, DISW, 1). This sense of documentary practice informs Chesher's approach as he seeks to describe he terms "dialogical documentary".

The "historical world"

  • It's a particular relation to reality. Cheshire aims to isolate this kind of relation in his work. He is especially concerned with engaging with social reality. "One of the fundamental questions with which this dissertation engages, therefore, is what sort of conception of the historical world is implied by this particular relation between documentary and its object. (AC, DISW, 2)
  • "...as well as being characterized by attention to the process in which meaning is produced and reproduced, the aims to intervene in the discourses which surround and ultimately are part of this process." (AC, SC, 78)

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