Media Art and Design Research Blog

Research Seminar: 20 April 2016 – Mark Aitken, Filming Community.


Research Seminar: 20 April 2016 – Mark Aitken, Filming Community.

Filming Community
Speaker: Mark Aitken, Goldsmiths, University of London

Communities may share location, allegiance, language, needs, loss – all that affects collective identity and cohesion beyond the parameters of the individual.

Understanding community dynamics for film making is a process of research, analysis and selection. Utilising four documentary films as case studies, different definitions of community are considered. Each film is analysed in terms of how research led to specific work processes and representations. The tension between community needs and responsibilities of the film maker will be highlighted. The outcomes of how and for whom the films were successful or not will be revealed.

Communities may be fragile and vulnerable. A film may stand as the only testament of a community long after it no longer exists. The nuances of voices, faces, temporal worlds caught and preserved, offering opportunity to research why and how community informs a deep need for collective identity.



Born in New Zealand, raised in South Africa, Mark Aitken moved to the UK to further his education at art school and ultimately learn film making. In the 1990s, Mark produced and directed numerous short films, music videos, adverts and television programmes. The advent of digital technology and its inherent accessibility brought Mark back into film education. In the 2000s he facilitated over forty short films with the non-profit polkadots on raindrops – a film education company he founded and dedicated to creative digital storytelling. In 2006, Mark joined Goldsmiths as an Associate Lecturer on the M.A. Film Making course. Since 2010, Mark has run the 2nd and 3rd year undergraduate Film Fiction courses. In 2014, he began facilitating the undergraduate Television course.


School of Media Art and Design, Research Seminars 2015-2016
20 April 2016
Pf06 Powell Building
North Holmes Road Campus
Canterbury Christ Church University

Email Dr Andrew Butler – – for further details
— All welcome —

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