Angela Rabing

(PhD candidate, Department of Film Studies and Media Aesthetics, Bremen/ Germany)

Angela Rabing (M.A.) is a film and media scholar and doctoral candidate at the Institute for Art History – Film Studies – Art Education (IKFK) and ZeMKI at University of Bremen, Germany since 2017. She studied Media and Communication and completed her master’s degree at Ruhr-University Bochum in Media Studies. Her current doctoral project investigates digital aesthetics of filmic realism, focussing on feature and documentary films shot on digital devices such as smartphones. Her research interests include filmic realism, digital film, documentary film, smartphone film, film and migration and queer cinema. She currently edited an issue of the online research journal on “Aesthetic and Theory of Digital Film” (No18/2020) and is co-editor of two volumes following the Bremen International Film Conference, including a volume on “Cinema Crossing Borders” (Pauleit/Rabing (ed): Grenzüberschreitendes Kino, Bertz+Fischer, 2019).

Project Aesthetics & Cultural Practice 

Digital Documentations of Migration Movements

The research project aims at analysing digital documentary films on current migration movements with regards to their aesthetic strategies towards creating filmic realism. Migration as well as digital media are two of the dominant factors of recent social, political, and cultural changes in the world. This is especially true for the MENA- and Maghreb-region, where LES SAUTEURS (2016) and MIDNIGHT TRAVELER (2019) are set. Both films are shot on digital devices such as mobile phones and can be understood as audio-visual counter-images to narratives of a ‘refugee crisis’ or a ‘crisis of representation’. The analysis draws closer attention to two aesthetic concepts that are closely linked to digital media as well as migration: uncertainty and mobility. While digital media are often discussed in terms of manipulation and ‘fake news’, the project asks what aesthetics, practices and strategies of filmic realism are deployed and how digital media supports or undermines an aesthetic of filmic realism. Moreover, the analysis will focus on the entanglements between migration and digitisation as it is interconnected in the documentary films discussed, as well as its aesthetic and cultural implications.