Dr. Catalin Brylla (Bournemouth University) talks about media engagement and advocacy, presenting his case study of documentary making and visual impairment. This project aims to deconstruct the stigma of blind people through the analysis of existing, as well as the consideration of new, non-stereotypical media representations. It has established partnerships with stakeholder organisations and individuals, in order to pursue different pathways for social impact. It has produced two feature documentaries, The Terry Fragments and June’s Patchwork.
Presentation held at the YDAR Festival 2023, Day 3
Dr. Catalin Brylla is Principal Lecturer in Film and TV and Deputy Director of the Centre for the Study of Conflict, Emotion and Social Justice at Bournemouth University. His work advocates for the filmmaker’s understanding of how media representation impacts on society’s perception of stigmatised groups, such as disabled people in general, blind people, African cultures, sex workers and women in minority communities. As a practice-led researcher he has made documentaries about such communities, including The Terry Fragments, June’s Patchwork and Zanzibar Soccer Dreams (with Florence Ayisi), and he has organised events on the social impact of media (e.g. av-impact.com). His methodological approaches include spectatorship, social psychology, cognitive psychology, audience research and ethnography. These have informed his publications, including the co-edited volumes Documentary and Disability (with Helen Hughes) and Cognitive Theory and Documentary Film (with Mette Kramer), and his upcoming monograph Documentary and Stereotypes: Reducing Stigma through Factual Media (Palgrave, 2023). He is Fellow of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image and Chair of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.