Short courses


Archives in Non-Fiction Cinema

  • Tuesdays (7pm to 9pm)
  • 5 weeks


Online evening course for artists, filmmakers and scholars on accessing and using archival material.

There has been a critical mass of moving image practices using and questioning archival material. However, many makers have questions relating to ethical considerations and how to use archives successfully in their work.

Over five weeks, this course will cover:

  • theoretical approaches to archival research
  • ethical discussions on image reproduction
  • practical application and legal implications of using archival material in non-fiction filmmaking

This course is run by the Open City Docs School, based in UCL's Department of Anthropology.

Course content

Each session will cover: 

  1. Introduction to the use of archives in non-fiction filmmaking. Theoretical and historical discussion and examples of different approaches and techniques.
  2. Navigating colonial and state archives. How and where to access them? What are the repercussions of reproducing archives that contain abhorrent ideas?
  3. Counter-archives. Queer, feminist, BPOC approaches to archiving.
  4. Using personal and family archives. Approaches to using personal archives, diary films, family stories to interrogate broader histories.
  5. Practical applications of archival use. Methods of archive research, access, licensing and the law.

Course structure and teaching

This course will be delivered via online distance learning. You'll need to have your own computer or other internet-connected device. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please get in contact with Ripley Parker (ripley@opencitylondon.com). 

Sessions will be held online on Tuesday evenings, from 7pm to 9pm, over 5 weeks.

Cost and concessions

The standard fee of this course is £150.

Two bursary places are available for this course. To apply for one of the free places, please email ripley@opencitylondon.com

Course team

Onyeka Igwe

Onyeka Igwe

Onyeka is an artist and researcher working between cinema and installation, born and based in London.

In her non-fiction video work, Onyeka uses dance, voice, archives, sound design and text to create structural ‘figure-of-eights’, a format that exposes a multiplicity of narratives. Her works have been shown at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, LUX, Berlin Biennale, and the London, Rotterdam International, Essay and Smithsonian African American film festivals. She has exhibited at articule, Montreal, Trinity Square Video, Toronto, Jerwood Space, London and The Showroom, London.

She was awarded the New Cinema Award at Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival 2019 and the 2020 Arts Foundation Fellowship Award for Experimental Film.

Course information last modified: 5 Oct 2021, 13:19